When I first came to the U.S. my mom would quiz me on spelling and math. Come to think of it, I think I was also held back a grade, staying 2nd when I should’ve started in 3rd.
I’ve been learning about how English language acquisition was important for assimilation and that many Filipino immigrant parents like my mom allowed if not encouraged their kids to perfect its use even at the expense of unlearning Tagalog/Filipino or their native language. Of course, this felt like a given growing up, but I didn’t know what it meant in the larger context of colonization. My mom did what she was taught would be the best, and so did other parents.
I was always so pleased with myself whenever someone would tell me how good my English was when I told them that I wasn’t born here. There’s a lot to unpack.