06:25 pm - Saturday 28 November 2015

Husband doesn’t speak english- won’t learn?

By admin - Sun May 06, 4:24 am

Question by Kseila: Husband doesn’t speak english- won’t learn?
My husband came to the US about 6 months ago. I have been speaking English to him every day. Of course not 100% of what I say is in English, but enough for him to learn.

He understands a lot fo what i’m saying but he will not speak English to me or anyone else. He’s afraid to make a mistake and tells me “I don’t know how”

I have created a bunch of ESL “kits” for him so he can study and learn English, but he isn’t putting the effort that he should into it.

I am getting frustrated because I feel like he should be more motivated so he can provide for me and our growing family in the future.

Anyone in or has been in this situation? Can you give me some advise please


Best answer:

Answer by Chrys
you can’t force someone to do something they don’t want to do…

Add your own answer in the comments!


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  1. 0

    yeah, my boyfriend refuses to learn English, and he’s been living here for like 4 years now. The fact that we both speak the same language makes him feel like he has no need to learn English. It is sad. His excuse is, well you can translate things for me.

  2. 0

    pentonverseas.com has some nice spanish courses. They have cds to buy, in english and spanish and they are fun to listen to.
    Do a search on amazon.com for those

  3. 0

    Obviously he needs to learn English. Stress on need. If I were you I would only talk to him in English, and only respond if he responds in English. It’s not a matter of “I don’t want to.” or “I’m worried I’ll make a mistake.” No. You can’t baby him when he says that. Try speaking English everywhere but at the dinner table. I know some foreign families who do that, to keep their heritage, and what better place than at the dinner table? But aside from that everything is in English. The type of jobs he will be able to get without English will never be more than some kind of construction/maintenance work.

  4. 0
  5. 0

    Hi hi,

    Sometime, it is just this way, fear of what others think about them.

    My wife has 2 1st languages and 2 second languages in high school, she is in the special programme. Compared to me, I learn my language mostly from the street.

    When we pick up Thai together, none of us with no pre-knowledge of this language. She score very well on the paper, writing perfectly well structured sentences, compared to my, filled with red-ink. But out in the street, i communicated very well at all level after 4 months living in Thailand, but my wife still doing her ‘finger pointing’ and single word communication,

    I have made plenty of mistake, really a lot of jokes to the local, but I smile, and I remember better. But my wife is just too shy.

    Thus, if i can conclude, perhaps your husband have a lot of pride in him, and hard for him to accept people laughing at them. They just got to get over it.

    For me, I just leave her alone, and she has to struggle her way out in the market. :)

    Don’t worry, he will do well, if he is left alone. :)

  6. 0

    You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

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