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Sonia Sawmmal



Sonia Sawmmal was born in 1994 in Lunglei, India. When her family moved to the United States she had to take ELL classes.




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It’s interesting thinking about this memory because when people have a memory in regard to race it is usually a negative experience but for me it was neither a positive nor a negative one. Me, being Asian was not highlighted in a negative way and my race did not make me any different from the other children in terms of how I behaved or who I was as a child. I did not actually learn the term race until later in my life but I became aware of my race during third grade because of the ELL classes that I had to take. I was always wondering why I had to go to a different classroom during class time while the other children were still in the class and so I asked my ELL teacher and she told me that I had to learn things that the other children already learned like writing in English and reading. I became aware that in order for me to stay in the classroom with my friends, I had to learn the language. I was a really shy child so it was hard for me to speak up but I was really motivated to learn English. The only thing that made me different from the other children is that my first language is not English but it did not make me sad but it motivated me to learn the language spoken here.