Language and literacy are things that people use throughout everyday life. I learned my second language through immigration.
I immigrated to the United States during my early years in elementary school. Before I immigrated to the United States, I didn’t know a single English word. I didn’t enjoy reading at all since I had a hard time understanding the content of the book due to my lack of vocabulary at the time. Even though my English improved over the years, thanks to my teachers’ reading activities, I still couldn’t find reading interesting for me. It was until 5th grade that sparked my interest in reading books. My 5th grade teacher assigned a research project on ancient civilizations and we need to read textbooks about civilization and eventually create a booklet based on the ancient civilization. At first, I was frustrated because I don’t understand why I need to read books about things that were from thousands of years ago and have nothing to do with me.
“I came, I saw, I conquered”– Julius Caesar
However, I soon changed my mind about this research project and I became interested in a topic that I thought I would never be interested in before. As I started reading about my assigned ancient civilization, Rome, I found myself lost track of time and continuously reading until the bell rang. The description and images of the Roman civilization from the textbook attracted my interest into learning more about Roman culture. This is the first time that I read nonstop without getting distracted by external factors. While I created the booklet for the project, I found myself actually enjoying the process because I am doing something that I like. After the project, I started to read books about other civilizations and led me to play games based on ancient civilization backgrounds. From the game, I met people from different parts of the world with the same interest and we would roleplay as ancient civilization groups and play against other groups.
From this research project, I gained more than just a new interest that carried on throughout my life but the willingness to try things that I didn’t like from my first impression. This experience impacted me significantly because it inspired me to try new things that seem challenging such as badminton and coding, which now became my favorite sport and major.