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My personal problem

  1. May 12, 2008 #1
    hello, i'm not sure if it's ok to put this up here.,

    i mean it's not related to physics, but I don't know anywhere to post something
    and get a feedback, except for phyzics forum..

    It's just a personal conflict here, and i don't talk with my counselor that much about
    this kind of problem.

    My best friend knows that i'm stressed out of these kind of problem because she felt the
    same way.

    Anyways to begin,,,

    I'm an asian who came to America to begin with 8th grade,
    (But I was born here and lived here until age of 5)

    and since I forgot most of my English, i am very bad at speaking in English.

    I usually hangout with asians who speaks Korean like me.

    I'm not racist for real, but I just feel more comfortable with my friends which they
    don't speak English that often.

    But!!! I really love English,,,,, I felt alot during this year that wouldn't it be better
    to be born as an American, then i could have blend with America culture better
    speak more fluently, and make more friends.
    (i hate the fact that i'm friends with only asians, i mean i have other americans as
    friends too, but they are more considered to be just an aquaintance)

    I think i'm having depression because i'm taking AP courses first in my life time..
    i maintained good grades during 9th &10th grade but this year my grades are suffering.
    Anyways that not my point but i felt that i don't belong to the community.

    During english class every students seemed to be so professional and confident,
    while I rarely speak in that class. I don't have a special friend that I can hangout with.
    Like group projects..-_- I hate it when I get to chose my own partners in a class that
    I don't have a particular person that I'm close too.

    These are what happens in my English and U.S. history class.

    I sometimes (often these days..)hate the fact that I speak Korean more fluently
    and not in English.

    I feel miserable whenever I stumble or mumble in a presentation infront of the class.

    I was a very confident student in Korea, but these days my self esteem is crawling
    on the floor.

    How can I improve my speaking? especially infront of Americans?
    Can anybody help me????? like give me a tip of speaking infront of people?
    I envy those people who are good at debate.TT

    I want to become more american style, feeling more comfortable.
    I really want to fit in to this environment..
    I don't know I'm so lost these days..

    I think I really need like a secret anyonymous medidator or counselor..-_-

    anyways.. if anybody read this whole thing, I thank you so much.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Most schools offer classes in English as a second language, or can get you tutoring. Your school counselor really is the person to reach out to. I can't imagine them not helping you, this is what they are there for.
  4. May 12, 2008 #3


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    I don't think your problem is your english. You have trouble adjusting to the western culture which is quite common. In this way, it's a deeper problem which I do not know how to solve. Maybe even unsolvable. On the micro level, it's like you know you can't be friends with some people no matter how hard you try as the two of you don't get along or are too different. The problem you describe seems to be the problem described on the macro level.
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  5. May 12, 2008 #4
    maybe its a small fear that you think you're abandoning your culture
  6. May 12, 2008 #5
    This is your problem.

    Make some more English speaking friends and start hanging out with them more often (much easier said than done, but keep at it!). Speaking in Korean will not help your English skills. My opinion is that with practice your verbal English skills will greatly improve. This transformation will be difficult, and don't expect drastic improvements over the next week, or even the next month, but within a year you will probably have a drastic improvement. Improving your verbal skills in English is very important: eventually you will want to get a job (I'm guessing in the US), and it will crucial that you have the necessary verbal communication skills.

    edit... look to see if you can join some clubs (I'm guessing that you're a student)... and no, not the Korean Student Union: join something that will have mostly native-English speaking participants.
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  7. May 12, 2008 #6


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    Gold Member

    For what it's worth, I'm 5th generation Canadian with no language barrier and I still feel very much the way you do in those circumstances. What you describe could very easily describe my life. I avoid activities where people have to pair up or where groups are formed informally because I hate being the last one to be picked or whatever.

    That doesn't really help you, I just wanted you to know that you're not alone, and it's not necessarily a language barrier that's getting in your way.
  8. May 12, 2008 #7


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Some groups like The United Way help provide tutors for people who have difficulty speaking English to learn it better. A friend of mine did some tutoring for it, so that's how I heard about it.

    Or, as others have suggested, spend more time with your English-speaking friends (I'm not going to say your "American friends" though, because if you were born in the US, you're American too, regardless of what language you've been speaking most fluently). That's really the best way to get better at the language. Yes, it's nice to talk to people in your native language because it's just faster and easier to communicate with them, but you're all doing yourselves a disservice to always speak Korean and not practice your English more. Perhaps you could even practice with your Korean friends (though you won't get as good of feedback as you would from an English-speaking friend if that friend knows you appreciate any corrections if you make mistakes speaking). One possibility is to get together with your friends for an "English night," or something like that. Let them know you want to practice your English more and think they should too, and one night a week, everyone MUST speak English when you're together doing some activity (perhaps even just watching a movie or TV together). That way you get more practice with a group of people who understand the language difficulties and who you're already comfortable with if you make mistakes. It's still better to learn from people who speak English natively to develop fluency in the slang phrases and expressions used in every day conversation, but if you start to become more comfortable at least in "proper" English, it'll make it easier to start conversations with English-speakers to learn the phrases.
  9. May 13, 2008 #8
    Oh my goodnes, I thank you people soooo much,
    (I didn't expect this much replies!!!)
    I think I'll get motivated to speak more in English everyday!!! I'm still not sure how to change my environment ,but I shall work on it.
    Also I do think my counselor will give a great advice or help, but I'm afraid that I might cry
    infront of her.
    And I really don't like crying infront of others.
    I know crying won't help me to solve the problem , but my tears are just so sensitive I guess....
    Anyways thank everybody who gave me advice, and I shall try my best to overcome this
    And I do love physics!!! (including this forum!!! ><)
  10. May 13, 2008 #9
    A quick note.

    The problems you describe....Most people have felt them at one time or another to some degree. You are simply mature enough and brave enough to seek out advice. Alot of people keep it bottled up inside and never try to improve their situation. So CONGRATULATIONS!

    Your situation is made worse because you are not a native english speaker, but you are doing much, much better than others would do in another culture. So cheer up, and if you cry, it's no big deal.

    BTW, your writing skills are exemplary.
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