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English as Second Language Student, Desperately Need an Advice

by shaylee1 shaylee1 (New) New

Hello, everyone, I'm a newbie to this forum.

I'm a student who takes pre requisites to enroll in a nursing program at a local community college. I have been in the US for 4 years, just graduated from the high school, and aim to be an RN. And please listen to my long term concern.

Even though I spent 4 years in high school, I still don't feel like I'm fluent in English. I have no difficulty with reading and writing, but the thing is communication. I got a bit bullied by racists in the first school for few months that made me become shy, passive, and not a confident girl. I could barely make few friends in past years. Still and all, I had to move a lot, so there was no chance to keep the friendship that would possibly help me improve my verbal English skill. For me, I blinked and then 4 years passed by.And I'm still mumbling when I face strangers. Can't even ask for repetition what he/she said when I didn't understand because I'm afraid of people's bothered face (I know this sounds stupid). Then I hate myself, ugh.

This thought eventually ended up with "I might kill the patients". Yeah, I know that communication in the hospital is really important. Being a nurse requires tremendous responsibilities of people's lives. If I get in trouble by communication, I'm definitely not going to carry on in this field (actually every field).

I don't want to go back to the ESL class. I already did it years ago and did a pretty good job. So repetition will be a huge waste of time. (The funny thing is I can confidently speak with immigrants/ESL students just like me. I just feel so small and all my knowledge is gone away in front of native speakers...) As I mentioned, there's nothing wrong with my writing and reading skills.

What can I do?

1. Mental therapy? (Is this that big deal which needs the serious treatment as a mental disease?)

2. Student service at school? (Not even sure they deal with this kind of problem.)

3. Return to my country? (Um, no, my parents can't afford it.)

4. KMS? (Kidding... but seems the most reasonable way, haha...)

I'm so depressed by this concern. I need to survive anyway. I will keep up myself to get straight As to get into the nursing program, though anatomy is hard as hell... But if I can't fix this problem then everything else is going to be useless...

Thank you for reading this long content.

Hello!!! I would definitely talk to a therapist about it. It seems that the cruel person that made fun of you in high school lowered your confidence and self esteem. Simply from your writing I can tell that you are a very articulate and thoughtful person. I think you will be awesome!!! Please don't let unintelligent people get in the way of your goals and dreams. Let their hate be your fuel, in other words, let their words be your determination to excel at your studies and future career. Good luck and be awesome!!!

I definitely would seek help if you are able to. Many schools offer some sort of counseling available to their students. Something that I would also recommend would be to join a club or group on campus where you get to talk to other people. Perhaps a speak/debate type of organization or even a communications course. Some people struggle with learning to read and write another language and others struggle with the speaking portion. The more you have the chance to speak using English with both native and non-native speakers, the better you will get over time. This will not be immediate and there may always be some confusion here and there. If it makes you feel better, I sometimes am left scratching my head after talking with other native English speakers. There are so many nuances out there and slang popping up seemingly overnight. Do not completely write off ESL classes either. There may be differences now that you are in college.

As some encouragement, I know many nurses, physicians, and other professionals who learned English later on in life. I actually had to relearn how to speak it after an accident. The journey is not easy and there will be many bumps along the road, but in the end your hard work will pay off and your confidence will grow.

shibaowner, MSN, RN, NP

Has 1 years experience.

I'm so sorry! You are clearly intelligent and your written English is excellent. As others have suggested, please talk to a therapist.

It's important for you to speak English regularly with native speakers. Maybe you can hire a tutor. Another option are online conversation courses and many are free or low cost - you just use Skype. You really need to practice conversation only.

Practice English online for free - Better at English speaking tips

English Lessons Online: English Tutors & Language Courses on Skype

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