The Autobiographical Narrative

The Autobiographical Narrative


This paper outlines an autobiography of the challenges that I faced as a married woman when I was forced to move to the United States of America to study English language. This paper has also narrated how the first teacher’s impressions I received adversely affected my perception of English language, the challenges of leaning English amongst students who speak English as a native language as well as the experiences of a bad English teacher. However, as it is narrated in this paper, through the support of friends and my husband, I perfected my written and spoken English.


Challenges of studying as well as coping up with marital responsibilities have influenced my life a great deal. As a married woman, it was very difficult for me to complete my studies in my hometown and I had to move to United States to study there with my husband. It was very hard to move to a different country without my family and friends, and to study English as a second language. Most people were very happy for me because I had an opportunity to study abroad, which many people have longed for but has never come true. They thought that it was so easy to learn a new language and they always say Fatimah is lucky, but in my mind, I always believed there is no luck in leaving your hometown to study English as a second language in a foreign country.

Worst Experiences with English Teacher

When I took a test that would decide which level of the English program I would begin with, it was very hard for me to read or answer these questions, I knew the answers, but I just hated English language. When I read the question that I had in order to write paragraphs about my country, it surprised me because in my school we did not have to write anything, just copy what the teacher wrote. While I tried to answer the questions, my mind went back to my hometown, when I was thirteen years old in English class. I then recalled the memories of my former public schools; there was no any English class until we moved to middle school when we began learning English language. The teacher always came to the class with a sleepy face and then she spent minutes to explain the subject by using Arabic words. We could not write any paragraph or essay, and in the final exam, she gave us two paragraphs to memorize carefully and then write one of them in the test, so we always saw all the students write same paragraphs with the same words. Therefore, we did not get any benefit from this class. The most disgusting moment to me is when she embarrassed me by making me read the story in front of all the students in class, and she always laughed when I pronounced any difficult vocabulary different as I was new and was therefore not well conversant with the common vocabularies in the U.S.

One time when the teacher was explaining some concept in English during the lesson, I was busy thinking of something while facing the ground. In just a second, I was surprised by marker that fell on my head. When I raised my head, I saw the teacher who wore a blue skirt in front of my face, with a tall finger that went to my head, and I saw fire shooting from her eyes. She started to scream and saying that I am a bad student because I always do something in class; she did not give me a chance to say anything or to ask her what I did. Each time I started to talk or ask her what I did, her scream increased. During that time, there was nothing that I could do, I just wanted to cry, but I did not want to do that in front of her. From that time, I changed my place in the class to the end and I hated English class. I never thought of learning English because all the universities in my country used Arabic language.

When my mind returned to the test, I was not able to do anything. It took two days before the results were given. They put me in the first level of the English program. It surprised me because I would not be able to finish my English program before my husband finish his studies, which meant I would not have the chance to study in the college. I cried all the time and hated my teacher who discouraged me frequently and made me lose my interest in studying English and I hated myself too. She affected my future significantly because as a thirteen year old I believed there are no good teachers that can teach a student English with good treatment.

After a week, I started taking English classes and in the first month, it was very hard to understand what the people said to me. My husband was with me all the time. He always taught me and guided me through my homework. He always said that I have to be patient while I learn English, but it will be easy after working hard. Moreover, I knew that I had to learn English because I needed it to complete my study. In addition, I tried my best to change my feeling about learning English and that happened after months of studying English. I did not think that I would be able to speak English with anyone or write any paragraphs but I passed the English program with good grades and I started my college classes.

Since then my life has changed a lot with respect to studying English language. This is because the kind of English Teachers and the mode of teaching English language are very different. This is because the current teachers always treat their students well and help them to get the right information the easy ways. Now I am able to speak English with other people, write an essay, and read long stories without translation. This experience has changed me very much, especially how I treated other people, and being responsible as a wife. I missed my family and friends very much. In the beginning, I was crying all the time, but now I try to forget about them and think about my future in a foreign land. I am also able to talk with my English teacher about my problems in studying, unlike in the past when I was not able to say anything to my teacher about my grades or ask her any question. However, I have realized that I should not blame my English teacher for making me lose time studying English as other people. I want to go to her and tell her that she does not have the right to treat the student badly, but seriously.


Even though I had many problems with my teacher that made me hate English, I passed everything after other people and my husband helped and guided me and influenced me to like English.  Now, I am trying to get a scholarship from Saudi government to complete my study here, instead of going back to my country and study there. I have become more responsible about myself and my family and hope that the entire teachers treat the student well, and I get my degree from United States. My perception of English language has also changed a lot unlike when I was moving to the United States to learn this new language.



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