I’m not stupid, I’m learning the language!
Dear Local Person,
Perhaps you don’t intend to be thoughtless, inconsiderate or rude. You probably have no experience of what it’s like to migrate as an adult and have to learn a new language and culture.
Here are a few tips which you might find helpful in future interactions with people like me:
I am neither stupid nor incompetent. Don’t talk condescendingly or treat me like an idiot. My limited English is neither a reflection of my intelligence nor my competence.
I’m not invisible, so please don’t ignore me. If you’re not sure how to communicate, a smile or a gesture can go a long way.
Your accent is as strange to me as mine is to you. Can we ask each other politely to repeat or rephrase so that we can work things out together?
There’s no need to talk loudly, my hearing is perfect.
I make a huge effort all day to communicate in a way that others can understand. Can you make just a tiny effort to help me understand you?