Life is very difficult for the first generation of immigration in America. There are many reasons responsible to this situation, both from society and from individuals. I think one of the major reasons is our poor English. I have been in United States more than ten years and I have a nice job, working for a biotech company as a senior scientist and the Research Manager. But my English is still very poor, because almost all the scientists in my company are Chinese.
The major language we speak at work is Chinese, and we only speak Chinese at home. I was a medical doctor, a professor and the Chairman of Molecular Biology Department of a medical school in China. Therefore, I have little problem in my scientific research work, but I do have many problems because of my poor English. My professional English is only good enough to read reference papers and to give presentations of my work, but not good enough to write manuscripts for publications.
In order to be accepted for publication, I have to ask my boss and secretaries who are native English speakers to help with my English, otherwise, the reviewers would comment the manuscript is written in poor English. Furthermore, as the Research Manager, I have to present our research work to investors and to discuss with scientists from other companies, which require me to speak perfect English. Although I always try my best to prepare myself, sometimes I still have difficulties to communicate clearly with them and I have to ask my boss! s help. All of those have affected the efficacy of my professional work. My poor English not only have limited my work, but also affect the quality of my life. Sometimes I was invited to parties.
People at the parties were nice, kind and friendly and the food was good, but I hardly could enjoy myself. I did not feel comfortable to join their conversations. When people laughed at a story, I could not understand why they laughed at a story, which I did not feel funny at all. I was always ashamed to make conversations with people, because I was afraid of people laughing at my broken English, and I make silly mistakes sometimes even at very simple things.
English is not only a language but also is a symbol for a person! s educational level and personality. My broken English makes me out of the American society. Therefore, I have made my mind to study English at Messa College although I am not young. As start, I took the English 103 oral communication class. In spike of it was a class for oral communication; I had learned some principles for writing. I wrote my informative speech titled! ^0 Correct use of vitamins! +/-, a persuade speech titled! ^0 Stop smoking is very important! +/- and a ceremony speech titled! ^0 Never too far to be friends! +/-, and of course, I had many opportunities to practice my oral communication skills.
With encourage from my professor and my young classmates, I was able to gain some confident with my spoken English and I passed with an! ^0 A! +/-. Last semester, I took both English 51 and English 56 classes. I learned the study skills of reading and composition, as well as some basic writing skills. I had some practice in writing different genres of essay, such as description, narration, process, example, classification and comparison essays. The title of my final essay for English 51 was! ^0 Cheating has to be stopped! +/-, and I passed with a! ^0 B! +/- in English 51 and 56. I have gained more confident with my English, and my English writing skills have improved.
For example, right now, I am preparing the application form for one of our diagnostic kits to FDA. As usual, I asked my boss, Dr. Hoffman to review; he said there is a little mistake in my English now. However, my English is still not good enough to do my Research Manager! s job perfectly; and of course, my English is far away from making myself into the American society. The major problems of my English are my limited vocabulary, poor grammatical structures, poor rhetorical strategies and the critical thinking in the process of reading and writing. Therefore, I decide to continue my English study as long as I can.
This semester, I have attended English 101. I hope I can learn the skills for critical reading, critical writing and critical thinking, and improve my English reading and composition. Life is really not easy for the first generation of immigration. However, we cannot fix everything. One of the things we can control by ourselves is to improve our English. I believe the better English we speak the better quality lives we will have..