I think you've hit on something here. I didn't know English (in America) when I started school and had a very difficult time with Spelling. I think I've become better at this, but I'm still
In high school, any student that came from England the
English teacher would always make them write an essay during
their first day of class. The second day the essay would
be returned with the corrections and big big red circles around
words like colour, favourite etc. Of course the student has to
return the essay with corrections. It takes some time for
these students to recover from this since they have learned to
spell in English from a very young age. I guess this could be
classified as “Culture shock”.
In England (where I studied for only three months) I had
an English teacher who spoke ‘cockney’ English.(I’m not sure if
cockney is spelled correctly). I had the most difficult time
understanding the teacher. With Americans I found that they do
rush their words or sentences and this makes it easier to understand.