Language And Thinking Of The Esl Class Being Offered This Fall

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“You need to enroll in the ESL class being offered this fall.” said my L& T (Language and Thinking) instructor. I found this question to be deeply troubling. It took me back to the days when I was told that ‘I sounded like I had just come off the boat’ because I had a distinguish accent. Her comment was truly humiliating because she had addressed me in front of the entire class. After class, I immediately called my sister and asked her if I honestly sounded as if I did not speak English. I lived in the United States for 6 years and learned English within four months. However, my accent distinguishes me as a foreigner. Although I never did lose my accent, I was confident in my abilities to communicate with others. This confidence faded away after my instructor questioned how well I spoke English in the presence of others. Language and Thinking is the first course that every incoming freshman at Bard is required to take. It was also the place where my teacher painted me as a totally different person in the presence of twelve other people. Following her comment, I had to explain and correct many misconceptions to my classmates: 1. I was not an international student 2. ESL was a class I had taken in middle school 3. My accent did not make me less competent or diminished my ability to understand them. It was also the first of many classes where I have heard such offensive statements targeting my background. Unfortunately, many people of color and international students have a
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