Cherry's Carry On
Cherry learned English both in China and in the U.S, but her English skill was clearly changed by the new environment. She took English classes in China, but as the English classes in Samantha Flores hometown, they did not expose her enough to daily language skills. As she said in the video, “(after I came to the U.S) I think my accent got better… I improved my fluency in English.” After immersed in an environment where English is the primary language for several years, Cherry’s English was hugely improved and she is able to speak the real “American English” right now. Her experience proves what Margot Kinberg talks about in her book, Perspectives on foreign language immersion programs (one source of Talia Gergely’s project 3). In the book, Kinberg illustrates the benefit of language immersion by showing us language immersion focuses more on communication rather than strict grammar rules, and the increased amount of practice brought by language immersion can contribute to the fluency to second language speaking. The new environment Cherry went to increased her fluency in English speaking, and taught her an American accent which helped her better integrate into the new culture. Luckily Cherry did not struggle too much after she moved to the new enviornment. However, though the new environment improved her conversational English, it did not help a lot with her official English. In the video, she told us that sometimes she still struggled to get sentences organized and sound "official" when she is doing presentations. Her new environment clearly helps her a lot with her English skills, but it did not change her way of speaking English completely. To be truly fluent in English, she needed to do a lot more than just allow the environment to influence her.
Kinberge, Margot. Perspectives on foreign language immersion programs. Lewiston: E Mellen Press, 2001. Print.