Leiya was never much of a "language" student when she was in Japanese school and when she went to America English class was beyond challenge, it was almost an impossibility! Actually I don't know how she got through it all but the English as a Second Language class helped and her host mother put in HOURS (and hours and hours....) of time helping Leiya with homework assignments. Tetsu and I were so pleased though that the high school didn't focus on what Leiya couldn't do but rather on what she COULD do and she was encouraged in art. This is her major now.
In college though, there are no more English as a Second Language classes for Leiya and so she is drowning in English assignments and for all her time and effort, so far the results haven't been too favorably accepted. I tell her...
"It's okay. So you don't get great grades in English. Just try and pass. No one is expecting you to become a journalist or a writer."
So she is doing the work and I am correcting major problems in her essays. Isn't the computer and Internet world wonderful! And no, I am not doing her homework for her. I'm not sure how long she'll need my help, but I started out helping Takumi too when he went to college and nowadays I don't get asked to look over things for him much anymore.
I think my kids asking for help in English when they've become college kids is rather funny. They shunned my help when they were in jr. high. I would say,
"You have a speech to write? Let me see what you've written so far and I'll correct it for you."
Even the neighborhood English students would ask me to look over their English speeches but my kids? No way! So though they could hold a fairly decent conversation in English with their cousins, when it came to class assignments they were writing things like...
"I always thinks about making American friends. I think I can make Japanese friends better then American friends. Becouse, in Japan, I can representation my self better. In America, I don't know how to representation. An answer is "I should talk to people positively". I know but, I cant. I have no confidence. My English is horrible, and I will be a quiet girl."
(This was an actual composition of Leiya's in jr. high, no correction.)
So what am I saying? I'm saying that Leiya's English, though FAR from perfect and still very stilted, has improved hugely and she just doesn't realize it. Often we can't see the differences from close up. We need to to step back, take a new perspective, find a new time frame.
"Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself."
Hang in there Leiya! You are doing just fine!!!