"Hello! My name is Monica Sanchez and maybe you just noticed that I’m not from here, especially from my nice accent. And, um, I’m gonna tell you a little bit about this situation about speaking English. You know, in Mexico, usually, you have to have English as a second language from middle school to high school. So, when I was in Mexico I was learning English. But it’s kind of hard, and I’m sure you know how hard it is when you try to learn another language and you only have one hour every other day or even every day because you have that language, and the rest of the day is just your regular, your first language. So for me, it was kind of hard. So I took three years of English in middle school, three more years in high school and the thing is, my Bachelor’s degree is on, um, everything related to restaurants and hotels, so, um, I can’t remember the name of the career right now. But in that, because you work in hotels, and restaurants, or travel agencies, you need to speak English. Or any other language. So, I got married, and we got the opportunity to come here. And I said, “Yeah! I can learn the language.” I’m gonna take the time to learn the language, and then come back to Mexico and do what I do, you know, follow my career, my degree. Uh, and that’s what I did. I thought I speak English. You know, like, pero it was like a book English. Like, I say, like a Tarzan English. It’s like, “Me want. You have. Me take it. Things like that. Because it was the way I was learning, through a book. So, one day, we went to this fast food place where you park your car you push a button and then you order your food. I didn’t have car at that time. This is about 26 years ago when I got here. So we went to these little tables they have. And what I did was push the button and ordered hamburgers, and drinks - the combos, you can call it combos. And when I got back the, uh, the food, I noticed that the money they give me back, it wasn’t right. Because MATH IS MATH. Numbers are numbers either in English or in Spanish. When you do math, two plus two es cuatro. It doesn’t matter, it’s the same thing. So when I did the, when I checked the receipt, I noticed that it wasn’t wrong, but they give me as a change, but for me it was frustrating because I wasn’t able at that time to fight. And I don’t mean fight, you know, with uh really really getting war with fists. and everything, but to say, hey. This is wrong. You’re doing this wrong. I understand how much money I should pay. But the problem, it was that I wasn’t able to do it. So after that day, I say, “No more!” I decided to switch. From Spanish to English. I stopped listening Spanish music, I stopped putting all the TV on English and I always was add the closed captions so I was able to listen and read at the same time and try to understand. And I tried to learn new words. Like with the commercials, I like the commercials because they repeat. At that time I was so happy to say that I learned “always,” the word “always” because Coca-Cola. Yeah, because before, they say, “Always Coca-Cola.” Well. That’s how I learned the word. So, one of the things that I want to tell the people if you’re learning another language not just be patient but switch. You have to make that switch. And if you find somebody who speak with an accent, like me, don’t assume that that person is dumb, or they not gonna understand you. Just be patient. Be patient. And be open. Open your mind and open your heart to new people. So, you never know when you gonna be or someone in your family is gonna be in this situation, that maybe you have to start speaking otro idioma. Gracias. "

Monica Sanchez

Monica is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Cazateatro Bilingual Theatre Group. She works passionately to build a unifying cultural bridge for the community through the arts and stresses the importance of bilingualism and the richness of our diverse cultures.

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