Students caught between two worlds

Essay by onvinhtanCollege, UndergraduateB, October 2004

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America culture is made up of foreign cultures. Some say America is a "big melting pot." All foreign cultures melted in this "big melting pot," and created this unique culture. However, these foreign cultures, the people in fact, need time to melt and dissolve. Ironically, there are people who do not even melt at all. People who live in China Town, for example, never have to speak a single English word, and they live just fine. On the other hand, some foreigners have to interact with others who speak English. They need time to fit in. They need time to be familiar with English. The learning period is not yellow brick road. It is rough, especially for the young ones. Coming to America probably the parents' decision. They want their children to have better education. Immigrant kids who study English in schools have high expectations from their parents; the parents might not speak English at all.

These kids cannot receive help from their family, and bear the heavy expectation to success. They have to pick up English, word by word, while speaking a different language at home. Immigrant students struggle between two worlds, their countries and America, trying their best to adapt the new language and culture, and at the same time maintaining their own.

When foreign students first set foot on America soil, they will notice countless of customs and slang that seems natural to Americans' eyes. Feeling surprise and interest will probably be the first reaction. Just as a baby new to the world, full of curiosity, the newcomers find interest in everything in this new land. Because the impression of the first few days feels more like a vacation, there is no worry. However, the students will soon realize they are here to stay. It will not...