Monthly Archives: December 2011

Conceptualizing the ELL Experience

I had a long discussion with a young man this afternoon. His words were to me far more poingent than he must have intended. He is not a native Of the U.S., and many of us would judge him for the way that he spoke, his accent, the awkward rhythms of his speech.

He told me of his home life, in a country in which money, in his words, could buy you whatever you desired.

He told of the months he spent in Mexico working before saving enough to come to the States.

He told me about his first foster family when he got here, and how they looked at him as a paycheck.

He told of his plans to go to college and return to his country as a doctor.

The words he spoke to me sagged with the weight of his decisions and resonated with the wisdom of someone who understands things beyond his age. His hopes were as vibrant and lively as any that I have heard expressed in more eloquent language.