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Chavodel1010

How did your spouse overcome ESL?

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Filed: Timeline

All,

For those of you whose spouses did not speak English (or did not speak it very well) before they got here, how did they overcome (or are overcoming) the ESL barrier when they arrived and what helped them to become accustomed to US culture? I would like to hear all of your experiences.

Thanks

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline
All,

For those of you whose spouses did not speak English (or did not speak it very well) before they got here, how did they overcome (or are overcoming) the ESL barrier when they arrived and what helped them to become accustomed to US culture? I would like to hear all of your experiences.

Thanks

Apart from the obvious (ESL classes) you can help by speaking English to your spouse, hang out with English speaking friends, and most importantly, encourage your spouse to not be shy about trying to speak English EVERYWHERE s/he can. My husband is not afraid to mess up and this has helped him. We're speaking more English at home, and he's working with Americans now.


11/2004 - Met in Brazil

09/2006 - Apply for K1

03/2007 - K1 approved

04/2007 - Apply for AOS & EAD

07/2007 - EAD approved

01/2008 - Conditional Residency approved

11/2009 - Apply to remove conditions

02/2010 - Permanent Residency approved

11/2010 - Apply for Citizenship

03/2011 - Citizenship approved

07/2011 - Moved back to Brazil

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Peru
Timeline

He learned English.


this is the way the world ends

this is the way the world ends

this is the way the world ends

not with a bang but a whimper

[ts eliot]

aos timeline:

married: jan 5, 2007

noa 1: march 2nd, 2007

interview @ tampa, fl office: april 26, 2007

green card received: may 5, 2007

removal of conditions timeline:

03/26/2009 - received in VSC

07/20/2009 - card production ordered!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Colombia
Timeline

It's been a bit difficult for us because my husband had zero knowledge of what English was. He's now picking it up slowly but he's still lost most of the time. He's going to ESL classes every day for two hours, so he's getting there. It's also very hard for us to speak English at home because even though I grew up in the States, all we spoke at home was Spanish so it's very weird for me and extremely uncomfortable to speak English at home.

As far as the culture, it was very rough at the beginning. He was very depressed, missed his family, missed his friends, everything was strange to him but he's now more used to it and says he likes living here. We'll see where we'll be in 6 months or so. I'm sure it'll get better once the weather starts warming up.

Diana


CR-1

02/05/07 - I-130 sent to NSC

05/03/07 - NOA2

05/10/07 - NVC receives petition, case # assigned

08/08/07 - Case Complete

09/27/07 - Interview, visa granted

10/02/07 - POE

11/16/07 - Received green card and Welcome to America letter in the mail

Removing Conditions

07/06/09 - I-751 sent to CSC

08/14/09 - Biometrics

09/27/09 - Approved

10/01/09 - Received 10 year green card

U.S. Citizenship

03/30/11 - N-400 sent via Priority Mail w/ delivery confirmation

05/12/11 - Biometrics

07/20/11 - Interview - passed

07/20/11 - Oath ceremony - same day as interview

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Filed: Timeline
It's been a bit difficult for us because my husband had zero knowledge of what English was. He's now picking it up slowly but he's still lost most of the time. He's going to ESL classes every day for two hours, so he's getting there. It's also very hard for us to speak English at home because even though I grew up in the States, all we spoke at home was Spanish so it's very weird for me and extremely uncomfortable to speak English at home.

As far as the culture, it was very rough at the beginning. He was very depressed, missed his family, missed his friends, everything was strange to him but he's now more used to it and says he likes living here. We'll see where we'll be in 6 months or so. I'm sure it'll get better once the weather starts warming up.

Diana

Diana,

Your situation is exactly the same as ours is going to be. Our entire relationship is in Spanish and my amorcita has never been to the US. I am glad to hear that it got better for your husband. Thank you for the advice/life example.

Derek

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline
It's been a bit difficult for us because my husband had zero knowledge of what English was. He's now picking it up slowly but he's still lost most of the time. He's going to ESL classes every day for two hours, so he's getting there. It's also very hard for us to speak English at home because even though I grew up in the States, all we spoke at home was Spanish so it's very weird for me and extremely uncomfortable to speak English at home.

As far as the culture, it was very rough at the beginning. He was very depressed, missed his family, missed his friends, everything was strange to him but he's now more used to it and says he likes living here. We'll see where we'll be in 6 months or so. I'm sure it'll get better once the weather starts warming up.

Diana

Diana,

Your situation is exactly the same as ours is going to be. Our entire relationship is in Spanish and my amorcita has never been to the US. I am glad to hear that it got better for your husband. Thank you for the advice/life example.

Derek

We have a similar situation to that above. My husband and I had always had a relationship in Portuguese, and it was like, why am I speaking in English when I can say the same thing twice as fast and I know he'll understand? Well, it's because he has to learn English and this is one of the best ways.

My husband does better when he is out on his own, at work, the store, etc. He does very well on his own. His grammar is not correct, but we're working on that and he is improving.

I'm proud of him since he knew NOTHING when he arrived.

He told a co-worker of mine yesterday that you need to speak English when you live in the U.S. - so he won't let people speak Spanish to him (which they try to do all the time).


11/2004 - Met in Brazil

09/2006 - Apply for K1

03/2007 - K1 approved

04/2007 - Apply for AOS & EAD

07/2007 - EAD approved

01/2008 - Conditional Residency approved

11/2009 - Apply to remove conditions

02/2010 - Permanent Residency approved

11/2010 - Apply for Citizenship

03/2011 - Citizenship approved

07/2011 - Moved back to Brazil

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
Timeline

I hate to say it but the longer you keep them in their native language the longer it takes them to learn English. Full immersion while difficult is really the best way.


May 11 '09 - Case Approved 10 yr card in the mail

June - 10 yr card recieved

Feb. 19, 2010 - N-400 Application sent to Phoenix Lockbox

April 3, 2010 - Biometrics

May 17,2010 - Citizenship Test - Minneapolis, MN

July 16, 2010- Retest (writing portion)

October 13, 2010 - Oath Ceremony

Journey Complete!

s-age.png

s-age.png

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Germany
Timeline
All,

For those of you whose spouses did not speak English (or did not speak it very well) before they got here, how did they overcome (or are overcoming) the ESL barrier when they arrived and what helped them to become accustomed to US culture? I would like to hear all of your experiences.

Thanks

For us it was no probelm because I am half British,my Sister in law however is from Mexico.

She has been here like 4 years now and her English is still very bad,she does everything in Spanish,reads Spanish books and watches the movies in Spanish.

It is actually her own fault if she does not want to learn it.

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When my husband got here, which happens to be exactly a year ago today :) , his english was poor. His vocabulary was small and he had a hard time putting sentences together. My friends speak English, so hanging out with them became a task for him. But he didn't become discouraged (even though he was annoyed at times). He wasn't shy, he messed up but kept on speaking. I'd correct him, and he'd just keep going. Being in this all English world, did make him homesick a lot more than I expected. He missed Polish tv, Polish friends, anything Polish I guess... even though I & my family are Polish too.

During boring AOS wait times, he signed up at a local community college that offers free ESL classes. He took "English Conversation" as his first class and it really helped him open up. If we ordered at a restaurant, I made him order in English. If we had to take care of something at the bank, I made him ask or do the task himself. Sometimes he was upset/frustrated cause he didnt understand them and thought he wouldnt get through it. But you know what? He did, everyone will.

I think you have to push your spouse out there to be open and not afraid to mess up when they say something incorrectly. Help them along with a word or two, but let them be independent and this will be the best schooling. No better experience than hands on. :thumbs:

He now works with mostly Americans so his language has improved tremendously. Sometimes I hear him say new words and know he picked them up from conversations with others.

***Warning*** dont let your spouse watch stupid tv. My husband loooooves watching the Simpsons. Unfortunately, Homer says some inappropriate stuff, and my husband picked it up, and uses it! He thought it was just slang. He even used some of the bad slang at our AOS interview. :lol: I had to explain his language as being 'tv taught', to which the IO responded that watching Sesame Street teaches proper English & grammar. haha!


12140.gif

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Colombia
Timeline

That is hilarious!!! I love that.

That's also a great idea, to have him order at restaurants and deal with the other stuff which I usually translate for him. I'll start doing that as well.

Diana


CR-1

02/05/07 - I-130 sent to NSC

05/03/07 - NOA2

05/10/07 - NVC receives petition, case # assigned

08/08/07 - Case Complete

09/27/07 - Interview, visa granted

10/02/07 - POE

11/16/07 - Received green card and Welcome to America letter in the mail

Removing Conditions

07/06/09 - I-751 sent to CSC

08/14/09 - Biometrics

09/27/09 - Approved

10/01/09 - Received 10 year green card

U.S. Citizenship

03/30/11 - N-400 sent via Priority Mail w/ delivery confirmation

05/12/11 - Biometrics

07/20/11 - Interview - passed

07/20/11 - Oath ceremony - same day as interview

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Mexico
Timeline

In our case, we have been living in Mexico since we were born. For both of us is difficult learn to speak and hear English (comprension). I know a little about write and read in English but when I want to speak my mouth doesn't work!!!! It is frustating but we continue studying and trying to understand English TV and american people... We want to work with our foreign careers but I know that it'll require a lot of work (English learning) anyway we try and try...

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline

Nanusia, well said, well said. I completely agree with everything you said.

One day my husband asked me if I'd go get change for him. I told him that I already speak English and don't need to practice, he smiled and came back with the exact change.

He doesn't mind speaking incorrectly and/or being corrected so for him it's been working out. However, he first job here was working for Brazilians and he knew that was bad. At the same time, he wouldn't have been able to have gotten that job without them...so it was a catch 22. It was an experience, but one we're both glad is over.


11/2004 - Met in Brazil

09/2006 - Apply for K1

03/2007 - K1 approved

04/2007 - Apply for AOS & EAD

07/2007 - EAD approved

01/2008 - Conditional Residency approved

11/2009 - Apply to remove conditions

02/2010 - Permanent Residency approved

11/2010 - Apply for Citizenship

03/2011 - Citizenship approved

07/2011 - Moved back to Brazil

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Glad you guys liked my post :)

If my husband ever gets discouraged at going and "practing" on live people (hehe) I tell him, that we are in the US, where everyone expects an immigrant with challenged English to roll around once in a while. It's not something that unexpected, they are prepared to deal with you (for the most part). This gives him reassurance that there are other people that only know like 3-4 English words and that constitues their whole "language" so he feels better and practices on.


12140.gif

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline
Glad you guys liked my post :)

If my husband ever gets discouraged at going and "practing" on live people (hehe) I tell him, that we are in the US, where everyone expects an immigrant with challenged English to roll around once in a while. It's not something that unexpected, they are prepared to deal with you (for the most part). This gives him reassurance that there are other people that only know like 3-4 English words and that constitues their whole "language" so he feels better and practices on.

That's right. My husband works with Hispanics and Americans. The Hispanics are always speaking Spanish to my hubby and he answers in English saying he doesn't speak Spanish - which is true, he only understands it because it's so similar to Portuguese.

The Americans at his job love when he says that and when he refuses to speak another language besides English - unless it's to Brazilian tourists which his boss appreciates since he's the only Brazilian at work.


11/2004 - Met in Brazil

09/2006 - Apply for K1

03/2007 - K1 approved

04/2007 - Apply for AOS & EAD

07/2007 - EAD approved

01/2008 - Conditional Residency approved

11/2009 - Apply to remove conditions

02/2010 - Permanent Residency approved

11/2010 - Apply for Citizenship

03/2011 - Citizenship approved

07/2011 - Moved back to Brazil

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