I can barely remember how I learned to write, but I do remember there were many tracing and reading. In elementary school (back in Korea), we had notebooks where letters were lightly written for students to trace over in practice of neat handwritings and directionality of each letters. In addition, there were journals to be written over the weekends with drawings explaining how I spent my weekend; and “neat handwriting” and “book report” competitions for each grade where everyone had to mandatorily participate. In order to win and be acknowledged, we had to read many books and practice creative writings outside of school to grab the readers’ attentions since I had to compete against 250 students in our grade. Competitions were a big deal for the parents and the school; hence it could not be ignored but practiced. Therefore, I don’t remember having an exciting moment of learning to read and write when I started learning to write.
When I began to learn English and was asked to write (end of 6th grade), it was the hardest experience in my school years. I had trouble reading in English in which led to challenges in writing. Grammatically, my sentences did not make sense and I could not get my thoughts expressed due to limited vocabularies. Gradually, writing skills developed and is still being developed due to engaging and fun activities introduced in American schools compared to my experiences in Korean elementary school. However, writing is still one of my biggest challenges.