Language Proficiency Effects Regarding Immigration People often tend to forget the importance of language in their daily lives. One can only truly understand the importance of a common language when exposed to a scenario where no common language is present. Communication is limited, therefore a sense of belonging is diminished and any daily activity becomes a task. An immigrant with little English proficiency goes through this inconvenience daily. Although the preservation of culture is important, English proficiency is beneficial to an immigrant; it allows for more opportunities to integrate socially and gives the immigrant a stronger sense of belonging and loyalty. Higher language proficiency levels improve an immigrant’s employability and earning capacity. One source …show more content…
The reverse is also true, immigrants who rise in social and economic status tend to learn English better and faster. Common language gives an immigrant a sense of social belonging. To “belong” or feel “belonged” one must be socially accepted by the people surrounding them. Dranitasaris explained that, “The basis of our individual identity comes from the way in which we construct our view of ourselves and of others when we are in interaction. As a result of our relationships and interactions, we may grow, or our growth may be thwarted. Ideally, through our initial relationships within our families, we identify with a scheme of socially imposed values that are deeply linked to our own personal motives. These values can create profound connections and a common language between individuals and groups because of their emotional intensity” (Dranitsaris). The fact that social acceptance is so crucial to our individual identity makes it all the more important to find that belonging. English can make that easier for an immigrant that does not know enough about the country he is migrating to.
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Although for older generations it was difficult to assimilate, It was simpler for the offspring’s of the migrants. Thus, it can argued that an individual’s sense of belonging is dependents on their physical or external environment which can limit or enhance their sense of connection. Peter Skrzynecki uses a variety of language features and contextual background to provide an analysis
The author of “Hispanic Pride vs. American Assimilation,” Stephanie Cox, presents and explains Hispanic immigrants’ hesitancy to learn English very effectively. She begins by telling a personal story about meeting a Hispanic woman who wanted her son to learn English but refused to learn it herself. Cox was confused as to why the mother would refuse to learn English, so she did some research and found three possible causes of this situation: a pride in Hispanic peoples’ native countries--most specifically, Mexican-Americans, a close proximity to their native country, and the lack of support from other Hispanic Americans to assimilate to American culture and ideals. Cox’s explanation of the Hispanic reasonings aids in further understanding their situations.
For example, individuals who speak the same language may also practice the same culture values and beliefs, shared customs, and follow the same religion. As a result, these individuals will develop a sense of identity with an attachment to the lands in which they live in and will see themselves different from other groups of people who speak a different
Immigrants usually go through phases when it comes to migrating to a new country and this essay was an attempt to outline those phases with an emphasis on the negative effects of assimilation. Firstly, isolation. Nearly every immigrant finds themselves isolated at first, but this tends to go away as they become assimilated with the new culture. As this happens, they start to lose touch with their cultural identity and start to change in order to fit in with the new culture. Sometimes this is forced, other times the immigrant knowingly assimilates.
Very few, if any, immigrants have the chance to learn English before traveling to the U.S. Because of this barrier, it is nearly impossible for organizations such as the Border Patrol to warn, aid, and communicate with them as they travel to the U.S. Although there are helpful signs along the border, they are written in English and are therefore indecipherable. Furthermore, the language border hinders an immigrant’s ability to survive in American society once they arrive. English is the written and spoken language in almost every city, thwarting immigrants’ opportunity to find jobs and interact with others. As they struggle to communicate, they become ostracized and do not fit in.
Being born and raised in a culture and then uprooting your life to pursue opportunities in a different culture can be hard in three ways. First, speaking a foreign language and then coming to America where majority of the people speak English can be difficult to adapt to. When a person has grown accustomed to speaking their native language, it can be problematic to have to pick up an entire new language. Possibilities can be limited because of the restrictions on one’s ability to communicate with other. Second, if a teenager comes to America from a foreign country they will have to take on responsibilities that they normally would not.
But even when they didn’t learn English themselves, their children grew up speaking it. Thousands of first-generation Americans still strive to learn English, but others face reduced educational and career opportunities because they have not mastered this basic skill they need to get ahead. According to the 1990 census, 40 percent of the Hispanics born in the United States do not graduate from high school, and the Department of Education says that a lack of proficiency in English is an important factor in the drop-out rate. People and agencies that favor providing services only in foreign languages want to help people who do not speak English, but they may be doing these people a disservice by condemning them to a linguistic ghetto from which they cannot easily escape.
For many new immigrants coming to America, it is difficult to adjust into the new society. Many come to America without the basic knowledge of English, the new immigrants do not have the ability assimilate to American society because of the lack of possible communication between the immigrant and an native. Non-English speaking immigrants that come to America face harsh challenges when trying to assimilate to U.S. society because immigrants are often segregated into ethnic communities away from natives, Americans do not know basics of words of other well known languages, and the lack of government funding education programs. Assimilation into a new society is difficult enough, but when the society pushes any new immigrants to separate part
There are two type of families. There is one family that speak only English and the other one that speak their home language and English in their household. Those type of families that speak two or more languages in their household are mostly immigrants that move to the United States. Their child or children will grow up speaking perfect English while their parents will speak poor English. In Amy Tan “Mother Tongue”, she talks about how without proper English it is sometimes difficult to get through daily life.
The silence that immigrants experience when assimilating into a new culture is not always a sign of social control. That silence is their confidence with the new language, and
In addition, the vocational services set standards and guidelines throughout the workplace to provide services for Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students. “Our society is full of people whose contributions and desires to integrate often go unnoticed and unfulfilled. ()” “Ignorance is Bliss.” The lack of knowledge from ignoring what the world has to offer to you is hindering our society today. These immigrants play a vital role in American society and the economy, but we have yet to fully understand or implement a plan to accommodate their needs for them to achieve success as a U.S. citizen.
He supports this argument by telling his own story of being forced to learn English by the bilingual education system. The experience he had learning English made him experience great embarrassment, sadness, and change. Rodriguez concludes his experience by discussing how English had changed his personal life at home: “We remained a loving family, but one greatly changed. No longer so close;no longer bound tight by the pleasing and troubling knowledge of our public separateness.” By learning English, Rodriguez’s family is finally able to integrate into society without language barriers.
Understanding English helps immigrants find better jobs, reducing poverty and increasing the nation’s economy. Upon immigration to any country, one of the first things one must do is find a job. However, if one cannot speak the language of their new country, many employers find it disadvantageous to hire foreigners who are not English proficient. In Blackwell 's article “English Should Be America’s Official Language” he says that “[people] who can speak English can compete for better jobs, with better pay,” as they have one of the most basic skills required for most jobs in America (par. 10). In fact, some employers are even requiring their employees to only speak English while on the job.
In Economic and Social Impact of Immigrants Stephen Moore is arguing that immigrants and refugees contribute positively to the American Economy. He conveys this through the use of surveys, data, and facts from multiple sources. In the second paragraph he took a 1986 survey that concluded that a lot of foreigners achieved success in this country in difficult positions such as engineering and entrepreneurship. Two separate studies’ discussed in the sixth and seventh paragraphs dispel common beliefs that immigrants take jobs away from natural born citizens. The studies concluded that the exact opposite of popular opinion, immigrants in fact benefitted the economy for employers, employees, and the US economic position.