What Language Do You Speak ?

Emmanuel Kouadio

A Band, English


What Language Do You Speak ?

Many people have always asked me, why is me voice so light, or why do I talk strange. Well, at times I speak differently than others would usually speak. When I was in third grade I got into an accident involving my the insides of my mouth, which lead to me having to getting surgery done. After that my whole life would change from their. I would have problems pronouncing some of the hard sounding verbs that has two through three syllables and I received a different accent then the one I had before.

 “Dalfin (dolphin), eyerin (iron), elementree (elementary) and woofle (waffle)”  

My speech/ accent was effecting me mostly when reading, since my voice had got lighter. When I was in forth grade I wanted to write poetry, so my teacher Ms. Buchanan entered me in the Delaware County Young Poets Competition. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to place in the competition because the way I would talk or read. Until one day in school my teacher had an idea and decided that all the kids in my class were going to write poems.

“Emmanuel I would like to speak to you after class, involving your poem” said Ms. Buchanan.

“Ok I won’t forget” I said. 

It was the final class of the day and the bells rung. 

“Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring”, the bell stopped ringing.

The kids in my classroom were packing up to go home.

“Everyone enjoy your weekend and work on your poems, so we can read them in class on Monday.” in a cheerful tone “Don’t forget to be creative and to put on your thinking caps when writing.” said Ms. Buchanan.

As all the kids exited the classroom I walked up to my teacher in a curious way. I thought to myself. What would she want to speak to me about?

“Emmanuel”, Ms. Buchanan voice shortly paused “I noticed that you and a couple other kids in your class have very special talents. I think you could win this competition if you put a lot of time and effort into it.”

At first I was shocked what I was hearing, then she began to speak about how I would win. I had faith in myself, but for some reason I was more fortunate to win she said. I was thinking that even if I didn’t finish in first place that I would like to win something.

“I want you to go home and work on you poem. Relate it to things around you, so when you’re going home everything you see you can include it in your poem”, said Ms. Buchanan. 

“That is a very good idea for me to start my poem, but I’ll just see you on Monday. I have to leave my friends are waiting for me outside”, I replied in a quickly tone.

“Have a good weekend”, we both said as we exchanged goodbye’s.

As I was on my way home walking down Ruskin Lane I was thinking about what I would see that would give me ideas on what to include in my poem. Today was the first day of spring, so many things grew since winter was over. I took out a book noted everything down I saw and went home. I took out my book of ideas and started to brainstorm stanzas for my poem.

“Spring is here. Whats in the air ? Birds are flying far and near”, I said.

After writing the first line of my poem I had other ideas, but I just couldn’t focus. When I read it to myself it wouldn’t sound right, so later on I continued to work on the poem. For a while I would continue to channel all of my ideas on the paper, but it wouldn’t sound like me. 

“Would I say something like this”, as I thought to myself.

I paused for a brief second to get help from my mom, but she had went to the supermarket to get some groceries for dinner. I was helpless for a second, until I decided to call my teacher Ms. Buchanan. I called her, but it went straight to voicemail, meaning she was probably very busy. 

“You’ve reached the voicemail of Karen Buchanan. Sorry I am not available to answer your call at this certain time, but please leave a message and I will surely get back with you. God bless you and have a nice day.”

I left a short message containing my poem and hung up the phone.

(It’s early Monday morning and school has began. 8:00 and the kids start to enter the school and goto their classes after eating a healthy breakfast. The teachers awaits them at the door with a friendly greeting)

“Welcome to class kids. If you can remember we read example poems and essays about the different types of languages people occur to have.”, said Ms. Buchanan. “I’d like you all to relate  your language  to one of the stories that you read. You have the full period to work.

I started writing about my relationship to a story I read. I still had thoughts of the Delaware County Young Poets Competition stuck in my head. With only one more day to it began. As I began the class writing assignment I started putting all my brainstorms together.

“Out of four stories that I read in English class I can relate myself to the story Hunger of Memory by Richard Rodriguez. The main character Richard had issues with adjusting to his language. Most of his life he learned words while pronouncing the wrong sound. He would be used to speaking in two languages, at home Spanish and at school English. He would basically code switch in different environments since his parents spoke mainly Spanish. A way I can relate to Rodriguez is after I had surgery done I too had issues with speaking properly. We both have minor accents, have pronunciation problems, but we are also fixing that problem.” I wrote.

After that I felt relieved for some apparent reason. I had a special felling that I could relate to someone else rather about language difficulties, than be laughed at or questioned. 

It was the next day. An early Tuesday morning. It was time for the Delaware County Young Poets Competition to finally begin. Emmanuel still had school, but he was excused from three class periods.  

After the final contestants recited their poems it was my time to present mines. Walking down the isle to a big stage to present in front of a crowd over 300 people wouldn’t be easy.

“Introduce yourself and you may began reading now”, one judge said.

“My . . name is Emmanuel Kouadio. I am a third grader who attends Stonehurst Hills Elementary school.

I began to read my poem, as the audience watching me listened and lowered their tones.

“Spring is here. Whats in the air ? 

Birds are flying far and near. 

The insects are soaring, as the mowers are mowing.

I goto school and explore. 

Learn new things more and more.

After learning, then we play.

That is why I love spring everyday.”

The crowd applauded and I went to go set next to my teacher. After five minutes of discussions the judges came to an agreement on who the winners were.

“In first place. . . John Reynolds from Bywood Elementary” said one judge.

“In second place. . . Lisa Vincent from Westbrook Park Elementary” said another judge.

“Last, but not least third place goes to. . . Emmanuel Kouadio from Stonehurst Hills Elementary” said by the last judge.

At that moment I felt so confident to hear my name be called and people cheer me on. My poem wasn’t that bad, the judges understood me when I spoke, and I represented my school by winning. That was one of the best memories having to do with my language involving speech/ the way I talk. From that day on I promised to always have  confidence in my own area of language arts and try.

-The End

Apologize for the inconvenience, but Vimeo couldn't cooperate with me. I provided three other school approvable websites where you can watch my video. Enjoy and please leave feedback. Thanks.





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