Yak, Yak in English!!!???
My name is Mayela, and I am from Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. I
am 52 years old. I have been studying English for many years. I
used to work as a secretary for twenty years and as a technology
and English teacher for almost twelve years. I am married and
joyful; moreover, I have two treasures who are my sons. Right
now, I am studying English in Ysleta Community Learning Center
(YCLC) and I am not working. However, I will go to study to be a
better adult English teacher and work in this country.
Throughout my life, I have had many goals and dreams. Some
of them are having a unique family, an interesting job, and an unforgettable
and warm home. One of my dreams was to learn and
speak English. I do not know why I love it, but I have loved this
language since I was a child. So for me this was an objective to
get -- speak English as my native language!
I started to learn English when I was in secondary school in Mexico.
When my family asked, "What do you want to do?" I told them, "I want to be a secretary, but I also want to learn a new language,
English." So I went to study to a bilingual secondary school. Then,
I went to study at the Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez, and
I got my degree as a Bilingual Executive Secretary. Also, I finished
my high school at the same school. In addition, I studied at El
Paso Community College because I know that I have to practice
speaking in English. In that instance, I knew some grammar, I
could read and write in English, but I did not talk as fluently as in
my native language.
The years passed, and I married. When my sons grew, I registered
them to study English, and I thought, "When they finish,
I will continue studying English!" So, I did it, and while I was
working, I was going to school. In addition, I was studying during
my vacations, so sometime later I got my teacher certification.
However, I still did not speak this language fluently! Then, I had
the opportunity to work as a teacher. I was afraid, and my legs
were shaking. I did not give up! That was great! In Mexico I was
teaching something that I loved -- English. In my country if you
are an English teacher, you do not have to communicate with the
students in the English language all the time. That is because it
is not their native language. Consequently, I did not have the necessity
to talk in English; therefore, at that point in time, I did not
speak fluent English!
Some years later, we had to come to live in the United States, so
now I am living in this country! Consequently, I must communicate
confidently in English because many people in El Paso do not
speak Spanish; however, I am a lucky woman. The reason is that
I have found a great school, YCLC, with excellent and diligent
teachers. In this school I have had many great teachers; one of
them, Mrs. Moya, propels me to speak English. She challenged
me enough to begin speaking in English, so I started practicing
my new language. For instance, when I go to a store, call to get
information, have to buy something, or fight for my rights when
someone says, "I'm sorry; I don't understand; I don't speak Spanish!" I know I have to defend myself in English. Then, EPALL
showed up in my life.
EPALL, El Paso Adult Literacy and Learning Conference was held
at University of Texas at El Paso on October 21 and 22, 2010.
This conference was for Texas adult education teachers. YCLC
invited some students to attend the conference, and one of them
was me. I participated in diverse conference presentations. I went
for two days. The first day I was eating, when Mrs. Moya asked
me if I was able to make a little speech in front of the teachers,
300 people! I thought, "This is a gigantic challenge," and I wondered
to myself if I can do it? I said, "Yes!"
I was nervous because it is not my native language, but I did it!
And it was amazing when I noticed that they understood me. They
laughed when I said something humorous about my mother, or I
saw that they were agreeing or disagreeing about what I was saying.
Then I knew that I was able to speak fluently in English even
though I made some grammar mistakes. I was so thrilled to do
this because that was my last step to obtain one of my dreams,
speaking English more or less as my native verbal communication.
When I finished, Mrs. Moya and I hugged, and I felt elated.
In conclusion, I have studied English for many years, and I want
to say thank you to my family and teachers who supported me in
many ways to achieve one of my goals, speak fluently in English.
Now, I am improving my grammar, reading, and writing, and I am
developing my speaking, so I can Yak, Yak in English!
About the Author
Maria Mayela Lizárraga Nájera in Mexico or Maria Mayela González in the United States of America was born in Torreón, Coah. She studied Nivelacion Pedagogica in the Normal Superior de Chihuahua during her vacations to obtain her certification. She worked as a volunteer in the S.E.P. in Alphabetic Department as secretary; moreover, she worked for twenty years as a secretary for the Superintendent Administrator, Auxiliary in Scholar Control, Human Resource all of them at S.E.P., and she worked for Principal's secretary in a school. She was a teacher for close to twelve years. She is married, has two children, and two grandchildren. In 2008, she got her GED® credential at YCLC in El Paso, TX. Right now, she is studying English at YCLC. In the future she is going to get a career as an English teacher in this country.