Language plays a very important role in many immigrant families.
children learn English very fast while parents still use the language
usually speak. Children pick up new things very fast. Children at
ages are easier to adapt using English as their primary language and
American custom because "School is the launching pad that sends them
different world day after day, distancing them from their roots" (Arax
This causes a big generation and culture gaps as people, like Xuong Lam
is the head of a close-knit family of Chinese refugees from Vietnam and
settled in the United Stated six years ago, at older ages cannot change
their cultural values; Lam says, "When you are old like me or my wife
mother, America cannot change you. How many years do we have left to
about America? But the younger ones, they will change" (Arax 6).
different speeds of assimilation sometimes creates generation gap can
easily solved if families communicate well. However, communication
has already been a problem. Language is usually the barrier of allowing
thorough communication in immigrant families.
Lack of communication between family members is a serious problem. In
immigrant families, some older parents do not intend to learn much
for example, Xuong Lam, and immigrant father who arrived here at aged
"has learned just enough English to deal with his children's teachers
school administrators" (Arax 2). Typically, those immigrants who come
the United States at an older age do not view learning English as a
priority or more important than other things. Janice Choe, who acted as
young interpreter for her parents when she came to the Untied States at
age of 12, says that...