The obstacle to live. Clarifies a lot of issues that the international students face and Americans do not notice. Refers to the language problem

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 1996

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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.

Every day

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

diverse population.