S: How long have you lived in the US?
M: Two years
S: Two years? Where did you come from?
S: Columbia? And who came with you?
M: Uhh, my mom.
S: Just your mom?
S: And do you have family here? I know your grandfather’s here.
M: My grandfather, my... my grandmother... mm... my cousins.
S: Okay, and do you like living in the US?
M: Yeah. Much better than Columbia.
S: Is it? What’s different?
M: Umm, It’s... it’s better because in Columbia it was like too much (long pause) too much people doing bad things, and he- and here I feel more secure.
S: Oh that’s good.
M: Nods head.
S: Um, Did you go to school in Columbia?
S: And um how was that different from school here?
M: Uh This school was more easier.
S: Easier? And what makes it more difficult in Columbia?
M: (Mumbles) Math.
S: And do you ever find that speaking a language other than English as your first language, does that ever get in the way of your school here?
S: And do your teachers do anything to help you?
M: Yes, they, they give me extra time.
S: Extra time? Anything else?
M: Um, they, they give me help by doing in Spanish teacher.
S: Okay. And um, do you enjoy reading?
M: No. (laughs) Not English.
S: No? Do you enjoy reading in Spanish?
S: Why do you like reading more in Spanish than in English?
M: Because I understand more Spanish than English.
S: And do you have any things that you do yourself to help you when you’re reading in English?
M: Umm, if I don’t know a word I look into the diction- dictionary.
S: So, now that you are speaking two different languages, um, what are things that are the same about the languages? For example, the way that words start with consonants like “c,” “cat.” Is that the same or different in Spanish?
M: Um, I don’t know because in English you use like, the “r” you use it like “Arr,” in Columbia you use it like (rolls “r”). (long pause) It’s not the same.
S: So you find it mostly different?
S: Alright, and, um, if you had to come back to the U.S., start all over and learn English again, is there anything you would do differently?
M: Umm, In first first year I didn’t pay attention to the English. So I think that if I... I... I pay attention in the first year, I wa-- I (long pause) I learn more English.
S: Did you know any English before you came to the U.S.?
S: So what was that like to come here and not understand anything?
M: My, my cousins help me (mumbles). Like if I... if I am in the restaurant, they... they ask, and they tell me what to, but then I have to I tell them.
S: I forgot to ask what grade are you going into?
S: And so what was that first day of school like when you walked in?
M: Like, everybody was looking at me, and everybody want to be my friend.
S: Well that’s good! Were you scared or excited?
M: I was scared.
S: You were scared?
M: But on the end of the day I was happy.
S: Thank you! So when you were reading this, was there anything that you felt like you didn’t understand?
M: (Shakes head)
S: No? You think you had a pretty good grasp on it. And this word right here, a “relative?”’
M: I don’t what’s this.
S: You don’t know what a relative is? A relative is like your grandfather or your mom, someone who’s in your family. Okay? And back here where it says, “We crawled back into our beds that felt too big and too quiet.” Do you know why their beds felt too big and too quiet?
M: Because (long pause) they was sleeping?