Finally People Understand You
Hallelujah! You won’t have to hear, “What?” anytime soon. You’re home in your own country after ESL study abroad in the US, and it’s amazing to talk with friends, and have just the right word there when you need it. Trying to describe something complex? Cake. Telling a joke? You kill it. It’s not just that speaking your native language is more comfortable for you than speaking English is. It’s that you share a common culture and life experience with your family and friends. When you say “tree” the one that comes to everyone’s mind will be the trees that you see everyday in your country. The same is true for thousands of small things. That means that a single word or phrase will draw the same picture in everyone’s mind. When you’re home speaking your native language friends and family don’t just understand you—they get you.
Struggling To Communicate
While you were learning and mastering English as a study abroad student there were times when you struggled with pronunciation. Anxiety over pronunciation is one of the top fears among English language learners. A study found pronunciation to be important to 90% of the students studying English. Fear that peers will mock your pronunciation can cause you to pull back, and not contribute to discussions. You had lots to say but getting the words out wasn’t always easy. I hope you remembered your learning goals and persevered.
Being back from school or even having completed your study abroad English course doesn’t mean you stop speaking English all together. Get an English-speaking club started, or teach English in your community. Keep learning, but also enjoy that you’re back home, and can speak your native language. Everyone understands you. When you’re on a date your charm and humor come across.
If this is just a semester break, let your time home among family and friends recharge your batteries, and bolster your confidence. Your native language is always going to be elemental to who you are. No matter how perfect your English language skills become, the people who understand you best will be the people who get you, the ones whom you shared the most pivotal moments of your life with.