My Literacy Narrative Essay Example
I was lucky to be born in a privileged family of one of the Scandinavian countries.
In Norway, we are met with a lot of opportunities, resources and encouragement. Norway has a stable and growing economy with a lot of export and import; it also maintains a strong relationship with the rest of the world. In Norway, the majority speaks English. Consequently, many Norwegians study or work abroad during their life span. However, there are some people in little towns in the rural areas that do not speak English that well. People who are proficient in English are often characterized as smart and knowledgeable. If we were to illustrate the Norwegian demographics of bilingual speakers, it would clearly show that most people living in cities speak more than one language, while people living in rural areas speak only traditional Norwegian. As a result, people born in the larger cities in Norway tend to travel abroad more. There are a few reasons responsible for this phenomenon, including an economy, location, education, etc. However, I am convinced that proficiency in the English language is extremely valuable in achieving success globally. The role of literacy sponsors in Norway is crucial to people’s future success. I have been very privileged to meet with many insightful sponsors. They have made me the person I am today.
Both my mother and father received their undergraduate diplomas abroad, which, I believe, gave them a different perspective of life. I believe that my parents’ global perspective helped me to gain insight into the importance of studying abroad, and that was the primary reason I decided to study abroad. They have been unique in the way of supporting me throughout my education and guiding me in the right direction. For instance, my mother was teaching me English words when I was a little boy. As a result, it did not take long until I learned to communicate with English speakers. Learning English at an early stage gave me the opportunity to travel and gain insight into different cultures around the globe. I believe that all of these experiences contributed to shaping my personality and my present world overview. My mother was convinced that teaching me English at an early age would make her son intelligent with opportunities of a global. Bilingual speakers tend to be more global-oriented, and I know my mother wanted her son to have a global perspective. She also found a traveling partner in me, because since I was a boy my mother and I have traveled a lot together.
For several decades, Norway has emphasized that teaching English to Norwegian students was one of the key elements in the educational syllabus throughout the country. From a retrospective perspective, it can be stated that compared to the generation after World War II the elderly speak English poorly. However, nowadays, children begin with English classes at an age of six and continue till the end of a high school. I have been very privileged to attend several schools with different specializations. Without these opportunities, I would not be able to achieve what I have achieved. My school experience gave me a great amount of knowledge, and it made my dream come true – I could study abroad. Learning English and other international values gave me the opportunity to study at Northeastern University. Without these values, the outcome would be different. Besides studying English at elementary school, I also spent many hours playing video games. My friends and I used to play every day after school and often late after bedtime. All of these video games improved not only my knowledge of English but also management skills. Since most of the games I played were online, often I had to coordinate plans with people through online communication software similar to Skype. These videos games were my literacy sponsors because they thought me many things that were helpful in my further life. As a result, I took an upper hand English class at elementary school. This experience made me extremely self-reliant in English writing. While studying at elementary school, I had the total confidence in reading, listening and writing English. I believe that without video games I would have struggled more with English subjects at school. Therefore, I consider video games as one of my literacy sponsors because they gave me the opportunity to learn English in an informal manner, and learning English was my ticket to studying abroad. Although video games are a different kind of literacy sponsors, I look at it as a part of my youth and my development. Compared to my other literacy sponsors, my video games were one-way sponsors since they did not get anything in return except my money.
Matriculating into middle school was not an easy process because of the difference between the two systems. Thus, in the middle school each student had individual responsibilities and our schoolwork was graded. On the other hand, the Norwegian system of education varies substantially between public and private schools. In my previous school, I had the opportunity to interact with tutors directly and had free access to a lot of helpful resources, but this was not the case anymore. The resources available to me at elementary school were no longer my literacy sponsors, apart from my family support. However, I was lucky to have a very talented English professor during the first two years of the middle school. The professor was well-known for using several unique teaching techniques such as rhetoric and other key activities. First of all, he was very credible since he had a PhD and a profound academic background with diverse experiences. On top of that, his tutoring manner was very engaging and inspiring. As a result, the classes were very insightful, and his techniques made it easier to remember important statements. In the class, we also had many discussions, which made it possible for everyone to participate and question the teacher. As students of his class, we were able to think critically and most importantly question the book. Unlike most of the teachers at that time, instead of focusing just on the fundamentals he wanted us to dig deeper into our essays while writing. I discovered such writing techniques as analysis, research, identifying reliable source, etc. These techniques were highly valuable for me since they expanded my interaction with the English language and stimulated further learning. I was able to read in advanced English, get good grades, develop critical thinking and receive the privilege of knowing more of what the world is about what I am capable of doing. The professor’s aim was to develop intelligent and critical students. In my opinion, he did a very good job. As a result, in return, he gained a good reputation. He also received a prize “Teacher of The Year” during the time he was my teacher.
Furthermore, in the high school we had the choice between two levels of English. At this stage, I wanted to explore the English language more. There was no doubt for me which level to choose. Obviously, due to various considerations I took the most difficult one. First of all, the teacher was well-known for her academic input. Secondly, the upper-level English courses seemed to be more challenging, so I could not only improve my English but also see how far I can go with it. The final reason is that there were many new students in this program, and I wanted to befriend them. I am glad I took the highest-level course as it made me the writer I am, today. It was at the high school that I learned to write research papers and other long analytical works. The course was divided into two semesters where each semester was one year. The first semester we focused on international politics and human rights. There were four main projects that required writing two long analytical essays and two research papers. I quickly became familiar with this type of writing, and I developed several critical skills. During the first semester, these skills were my literacy sponsors because they helped me to matriculate into the second semester after completion. The last semester of English was not like the previous one because it was connected with our Norwegian classes. Instead of writing research papers, more often we created oral presentations. I remember we also had a great deal of rhetoric analysis writings. In Norway, rhetoric is a central part of the educational syllabus both in Norwegian and English classes. As a result, on our national exam in both English and Norwegian, we had to write a rhetorical analysis. In fact, rhetorical analysis was, in fact, my favorite subject in both Norwegian and English writings. The main rationale was because it was not so dry compared to the other topics. I studied rhetoric and made a template I used for all my essays, which helped me writing the papers in a much more effective way. The English course thought me many relevant skills. Although this was only an English class, I felt that I learned many other valuable skills such as business writing, presentation skills, time management and analytical skills. At Northeastern University, I had a great advantage because when just started, I already had basic understanding of the majority of classes because I had taken an advanced English class in the high school. Without that English course, the path of my education would be slightly different, because before taking that course I was not sure what I wanted to study. Thus, exactly during this course, I decided to apply to Northeastern University. I guess we make a crucial decision when the time is right, and we are mature enough to make them, and experiences help us to get ready for these decisions.
The fall semester of 2014, at Northeastern University, was probably the most insightful and the toughest semester in my life. As an American Classroom student, all my classes had one goal in common – to improve students’ academic English. My experience as an ACP student was very different from all the previous practices. In this semester, all of my classes went beyond what I expected. They thought me a lot of skills regarding literacy. Our professors constantly challenged me with new essays, quizzes, discussions, and presentations. At one point, I almost felt it was overwhelming. However, I am glad that I carried on with my studies throughout the semester, because it the experiences of this semester changed my perception and practice of schooling. This semester became my literacy sponsor because it opened the door for getting a degree at Northeastern University. Of course, it would not be possible without my parents’ moral and financial support. However, I believe this program was a valuable literacy sponsor since it resulted in matriculation into the university. After completing this program, I feel more confident and proficient in the English language. The program opened a new world for me. I have to admit that without it I would not be ready for the university.
The experiences stated above illustrate how my literacy narrative has shaped me into the person I am today. My experiences not only taught me valuable skills, they became a part of me, a part of my life path. My literacy sponsors gave me a great advantage throughout my educational path, and I still benefit from them here at the Northeastern University. In return, my literacy sponsors also received various advantages. I think the most important is that my parents are proud of me, and they know that they have given me a good youth and pinpointed me in the right direction.
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