Suleman's Carry On
It is interesting to consider how Suleman was truly able to polish his English proficiency when he moved to the United States. In Pakistan, Suleman was accustomed to speaking Urdu in almost all facets of life. Wether he was with friends, family, or even strangers, he was able to communicate with them through his native tongue, Urdu. Suleman, after his undergraduate studies in Pakistan, decided to move to the United States in order to continue his graduate studies. He received an acceptance letter to the University of Oklahoma, and he immediately decided that Oklahoma was the place for him. While at the University of Oklahoma, he encountered many situations in which he had to speak the American language of English. In a sense, he was surrounded by the language. Most of the students, faculty, and even his friends had a pretty fluent understanding of English. Soon enough, after indulging in the environment and communicating and interacting with his peers, Suleman developed a mastery of the language. This relates to Adnan's story, especially because he faced the same issue. After moving to Emory University however, he has noted an increase in his proficiency, simply because of his interactions with friends and peers.
In Lanuguage in the brain, Helmut Schnelle claims that formal studies "are too limited and inappropriate for practical usage of language" (Schnelle 14). This holds true in Suleman's case. Suleman did attain some formal studies in Pakistan, but he was not able to truly master the language until he was placed into an environment where the language was primarily spoken. Interestingly, Kevin Stacey, in Brain Anatomy and Language in Young Children, notes that the environment plays a huge role in the language development of infants, and that the increased myelin growth (linked with linguistic development) allows infants to learn a language better than most adults (Stacey). The scope of this argument is limited to an extent, simply because Suleman did not have an increasingly difficult time learning the language. He did admit that the environment played a large role in his language development, but this linguistic development occurred very late in his life. For this reason, one may conclude that myelin growth was especially prevalent in his brain, even after reaching the age of 24. Overall, Suleman did face initial issues with the mastery of English, but it did not take him long to develop his linguistic abilities. He was able to adapt, and the language skills he learned then are still helping him in his personal, social, and professional life today.