Meet The CA Exchange Student Who Doesn’t Speak a Word of English

Meet The CA Exchange Student Who Doesn't Speak a Word of English

Sophia Carey

“I don’t understand classes or homework. I’m always thinking ‘I can’t, I can’t, it’s impossible!’ “

By: Sophia Carey

Staff reporter Sophia Carey had a chance to sit down last week with a new foreign exchange student named Amy. Amy is a freshman at CA and speaks little to no English. Sophia was able to talk with her through their mutual language, Japanese, and learn a little about her including some of her reasons for being here and the difficulties of being an exchange student.


Sophia: What is your name?
Amy: I should say all of it?  Amy Cavalcanti Minakawa Bound.
S: What grade are you in?
A: Ninth grade.
S: Why did you come to America?
A: My mother got married to an American and since he couldn’t come to Brazil, we just came here.
S: What languages do you speak?
A: Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
S: Where did you move from?
A: Brazil.
S: What is the headrest part about living in America?
A: Everything is hard. School is the hardest. I don’t understand much, and if I go buy something, I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.  And some of the things we’re not supposed to do here are ok in Brazil.  That’s a little bit of a problem.
S: What is the hardest part of CA?
A: Everything. [laughs] I guess you could say that.  ‘Cause I don’t know anything . . . I’m always like, “what should I do?”  And I don’t understand classes or homework.  I’m always thinking, “I can’t, I can’t, it’s impossible!”
S: How is your English?
A: I don’t think I even have to say… It’s kind of obvious.  I know very little.  I can say normal things like “good morning” or “hello.”  I can do that.  But I’m not at a level where I can live in America normally yet.
S: How do you communicate with your friends and teachers?
A: [pauses] Um, I don’t know . . . Sometimes I say random words even if I don’t know what they mean.  I just kinda spit them out. There are some people who speak Spanish, but not too many people.  Well with you I can speak because we can talk in Japanese.  But on a daily basis I don’t really open my mouth. It’s always like, shi—n [an onomatopoeia for the sound of silence]
S: What is your favorite class?
A: Art.  I love it so much!
S: Who is your favorite teacher?
A: Uh, I like them all; they’re all ok.
S: Thank You!