Sofia Cretu and Angel Markoski– Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Being a student can be challenging and a daunting task, but imagine having to deal with that same process in a foreign country.

LRHS has a number of its students from outside the US, many of which are still in their learning stages of English.

Mustangs new to LRHS, or even the country, have opportunities for English learning support. Avelina Besse is one of the teacher aides that help English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) students with any struggles that they may have.

Besse said, “The hardest thing for ESOL students to get used to is having up to seven classes every day and having homework in every class while struggling with the English language.”

Even foreign students familiar with English are forced to adjust.

Senior Luka Atanasov and sophomore Anja Atanasova moved to the U.S. in 2019. They both moved here from Macedonia knowing how to speak English. Although they knew how to speak the language, they still had trouble adapting to this environment.

Atanasov said, “Knowing English was definitely a pro, but it is much different how its taught in school in Macedonia and how it sounds here.”

 Luka and Anja had a lot of challenges to overcome when they moved here.

The biggest challenge for both students was school. Both Atanasov and Atanasova were in the English Language Learners (ELL) program and they both successfully passed the program. Atanasov was a part of the program for over a year; however, Atanasova was a part of the program for one semester.

These students struggle with difficulties inside and outside school. Both Atanasov and Atanasova found ways to deal with stress.

“My mom was my main help outside of school, helping me with most of my homework. In school I had greater struggles but my ELL teacher we always there to help me,” Atanasova said.

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 Atanasov continued, “I had a lot of struggles both inside and outside of school since I started as a freshman in high school, but I realized that struggles will always be a part of life, so I learned to deal with them myself, but of course my family also helped and supported me.”

All aspects of moving to the US can be difficult, not just school. The environment of the US and the people are completely different.

Atanasova said, “The people here are so different than Macedonia, getting used to the culture was pretty challenging.”