When I was in kindergarten, I started learning how to write in English. In my country, we start learning English as our second language at our first grade. Our English teaching process is way different from America, Britain, or the other English-speaking countries. We don’t really teach much about speaking and writing, but a lot about reading and grammar. I remember I had weekly writing assignment in my middle school. Guess what my assignment was? It’s like giving you a topic or picture, you have to write 150 to 250 words (can you believe that, in middle school, they only ask you to write 150 words). This kind of assignment didn’t change a bit throughout my entire middle school year. English in my country is not really for people to know or learn another language, but to learn how to get prefect grades on those foreign language tests which are required by the ministry of Education in order to get in to higher level of education, like high school and college. So, pretty much I didn’t learn anything valuable in how to write when I was in my homeland.
Back to America, after getting into a new environment. I started pushing myself into the way English-speaking people write. It was quite difficult for me (you know the reason why). When I got my first writing assignment, I was truly shocked. I have to write a 3 pages paper about an article we read about in class. I had no clue at all, because I had never write so many words before. After struggling about couple days. I finally gave up, I turned in my paper in, short about one and a half pages. My teacher realized that, and started giving me some extra tutoring after school. She really gave me tons of good advice about writing. She asked me not to start writing right away. I have to sit and brainstorm about the possible things, topics or facts I want to talk about in my writing. Then draw a diagram or make a list about rough ideas about the topic. After all that, you may begin writing. After adopting all the methods she taught me about, I started having my own ideas about how to write. At first, I couldn’t reach the assignment requirement yet. But after very short of time, I can not only write the amount I was asked, but also write with my own critical thinking.
After four years of American high school, I improved a lot, but still not enough. Like I spend too much time think about what I want to write, usually I can sit in front of my computer for an hour without typing anything. And I have trouble organize my work more logically.
I think I will try doing some free writings to widen my thoughts a little bit. And also go to writing center to seek for advice from professionals. I believe I can overcome those problems I have eventually.