Education in America is available to everyone,
regardless whether a student is U.S.born or an immigrant.
This fact opens a huge world of the opportunities in front
of everyone, no matter what nationality and culture you
belong to. For young immigrants, American Education means
the achievement of the very stair where they can stand as an
equal part of the American society they live in and to be
helpful for the country they have chosen to be their home
and that gives them such incredible opportunities.
Although immigrants to the U.S. come from diverse
backgrounds and cultures, almost all of them face similar
challenges on the way to their dreams and goals. Young
immigrants cannot be equal competitors or equal members of
the American teams because of the proficiency in English
that create all their problems.
Every immigrant student has to lead a double life,
being suspended between an old and a new home.
they come to the school and enter an American way of life
and English language; every day they come back home in their
own culture and traditions, speak their mother tongue with
their families. All of them are put in the limits of
helplessness and difference. Imperfection in English lacks
any practice of this. They are not able to communicate with
the people that are around them now, and therefore cannot be
completely free in their lives.
Mastering English is common and the most important
problem for every immigrant student. Nevertheless, all of
them are passionate about learning common language because
now every aspect of their future depends on it. But it takes
years to know English on American level and students differ
in their abilities to the learning of other languages not
only by their individual characteristics but also by the
features of their own language. For example, Russian
alphabet has almost one half of the letters that are similar
to ones in English alphabet. But what about Japanese where
there is no even a single letter similar to English one?
The same is true about oral speech and pronunciation in the
variety of languages, like in Asian languages, they are
absolutely different from English language.
It can be a different kind of problem for everyone; and
for the international students it is linked directly to
succeed academically. It often happens that the skills in
understanding, speaking, reading, and writing English are
limited enough to deny students the chance to learn in
classrooms where the teaching is only in English. Immigrant
students are often inappropriately placed in special
education, and are at a double risk to be placed in low
academic tracks because of language limitations. As an
example, my younger brother was placed in grade 7 instead of
grade 9 only because of his English skills, but not because
of his level of knowledges. It turns out to be that the
students are evaluated by their ability to speak English but
not by their academic performance.
This is a stressful time for every international
student. Poor English lacks every point of interaction with
Americans, lacks any chance to succeed. However, this makes
stronger their passion about learning English. For them, it
is the only thread that ties them with the future where they
dream of being. They want to be equal with Americans and
not to be considered as ESL students. They tend to have
more similarities with American society where the strongest
one is the language, a unifying force of an incredible