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Interview with Jacqueline Koomson

Koomson, Jacqueline
Lambert, Anne
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Then and Now; Relationships with People and Places
Jacqueline Koomson came to America from Ghana, West Africa in order to follow through her career goal. She also hopes to improve her English.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Anne Lambert interviewed Charlotte residents to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
AL (Anne Lambert): And this is Jacqueline, from Ghana, who has been speaking English in school in her country since first grade. OK? And now we've made her giggle. Do you have a story you'd like to tell us today?
JK (Jacqueline Koomson): Yes, I do. Maybe our-- ( )
AL: Ready? OK.
JK: My name is Jacqueline Koomson. I'm from Ghana, West Africa. I came here in the winter. 1996. I, [laugh], my mother is in Africa. My father is in here in California. They have six children, and I'm the oldest of the children. When I graduated from Ghana, my father decided to bring me here so I can, I can, um, I mean, continue my schooling here and graduate from here. So I graduate I decided to take a cosmetology for, um, so I decided to take cosmetology, so when I came here, I work a little bit and I planned to go back to school and learn some more English and take my cosmetology. [Laugh] That's why I'm here, that's why I'm here, to get some more idea on English, and get a good teacher, and get a good job. That's for me good.
AL: Can you tell us how English is different? Because you've been speaking English for 12 years. Yeah, right. How is English different in Ghana?
JK: Yeah, um. In Ghana English is not important. In our home, nobody speak English until they learn it when you get in school, and it seem like they comp, how you say it? Compet--. How they lack confidence. If no teacher is there everybody speak like their language but in class everybody speak in English, so, um, I mean that's why we can't speak it more than like how America people speak, that why we different. But if we speak it how American people speak everywhere, we can, but first, of course, we speak our own language out of sight. That's why we speak it, can't speak it as much as American people speak.
AL: Well, thank you very much. That's a good job!