Essay 2: Part 1a — Interview transcript

Harriet Coleman
Rhetorical analysis

Belen Jimbo.
By : Harriet Coleman
In the beginning of my interview with CCNY student Belen Jimbo, she explained how young she
was when coming to America, how she lacked motivation and somewhat felt alone during
school. “…had no sense of direction”. Is a quote from one of the topics we discussed and I
found it quite intriguing and relatable. One thing I find interesting about Belen is her courage.
Although I couldn’t see her because the interview took place over the phone I could hear how
much this topic meant to her simply in her voice. The observations of the rhetorical strategies
that I noticed in the essay was “Pathos”. The emotional tone and how it translated throughout
the interview with Belen.
HC: Given your experience,what made you choose this topic to write about?
MJ: Because it’s how I learned a language, I was forced to come here. I had no choice…So I had
to learn to speak and read to understand.
HC: You said you lacked motivation, what did that look like?
MJ: Well I didn’t have friends who spoke Spanish like me so I didn’t have motivation to go to
school , and go to lunch and play with anybody. It was just school and study.
HC: How do you believe growing up in a stable home with both of your parents impacted
your development and personality?
MJ: At the most unexpected moment, I was already living without my parents. I was
only 11 years old, and that’s the age where I needed my parents the most. I just started to grow
up and see things differently, I never had my parents close to me so that they could explain
certain things to me that I couldn’t communicate with another person who, even though they are
family, was not the same as my parents.
HC: What aspects of living in the U.S. excited you and made you look forward to the
MJ: What excited me the most were the diverse weather conditions in the US, which
greatly differed from what I was accustomed to in Ecuador. However, what I considered most
significant was the opportunity to become bilingual. I regarded this as a unique experience not
everyone could access, and I was determined to make the most of the chances to learn and speak
the English language.
HC: What advice would you give to someone who finds themselves in a similar situation,
having to leave their home country for a new opportunity but being separated from their parents
in the process?
MJ: One piece of advice I would give to someone who is going through my situation is,
don’t be too hard on yourself. Life is like a rollercoaster, full of surprises that will change your
life. Whether it’s good or bad, it usually happens just when you least expect it. I get it, being far
from your parents can be tough, but let that be your motivation to give it your all, so the pain of
being apart from them isn’t for nothing.
HC: Can you describe the conversation with your parents where they explained the
reasons behind their decision to send you to the U.S.?
MJ: My parents initially moved to the United States because I was born there. However,
when I was just 2 years old, my dad faced deportation, and my mom had to make a hard decision
– she took me with her to Ecuador, leaving my brother in the United States under the care of our
aunt. Then, when I turned 11, my parents felt it was the right time for me to come back, learn the
language, and adapt to this new environment.
HC: How did you feel when you started middle school in the U.S.?
MJ: As I entered middle school, I experienced a strong sense of being out of place. It
seemed like everyone around me had a perfect command of English, which made me feel like an
outsider due to my limited language skills. At times, I found myself preoccupied with what
others might be thinking of me simply because I couldn’t communicate fluently in the language.
However, with time, I started to understand the language bit by bit, and it actually became easier
for me to understand and express myself.
HC:How did your accent affect your ability to speak and engage with classmates?
MJ: At first, I thought it was going to be a little difficult, but they placed me in a class
where students spoke another language, with English being a new language. This allowed me to
communicate effectively with them because they also spoke Spanish. However, when it came to
interacting with individuals who only spoke English, expressing my thoughts and feelings
became a bit of a challenge, often leaving me at a loss for words.
HC: Can you describe the transformation you experienced in your English language
skills during your final year of high school?
MJ: During my senior year of high school, I went through a remarkable transformation in
my English language skills. When I first came to the United States, I was quite insecure about
my abilities. English was a major barrier for me and I often felt lost in conversations and unable
to express myself the way I wanted. However, as my high school years progressed, I began to
experience a change. I began to feel a new confidence in my ability to communicate in English.
This transformation was the culmination of years of effort, and practice.
HC: Did you receive any support or guidance during this transformation, whether from
teachers, or family, that played a role in your development?
MJ: Yes, during this transformation I received support and guidance from my teachers
and family, who recognized my efforts. They provided valuable feedback, helped me practice
pronunciation, and offered strategies to improve my language skills. Their support was essential
in developing my confidence and overcoming the mental barrier I had about my accent.

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