Writing paper about diversity/immigration.

  1. I love this forum and I really wanted to ask this here since I everyone is so helpful. I am writing a paper for a diversity class and am talking mainly about children who are from other countries growing up in the US and what it is like for them. (language, fitting in, etc.)
    I asked a few people I work with that are from Brazil and what their lives were like growing up.
    So I'm curious of other people's stories so I can gain insight from the personal experiences to have a more educated paper but with information learned from people I've asked personally.

    Thanks! I hope nobody minds me asking here.
  2. Do you have any specific questions in mind? I moved to this country when I was 8, so I have some insight, not all meaningful though :p
  3. I'm sorry I can't speak from my own personal experience (my parents immigrated but I grew up here) but good luck! It seems like an interesting paper. I was talking to my friend earlier this week about ESL kids because she's an assistant to an ESL teacher. Most of the kids immigrated here and the ESL program makes me so sad - at least the way it's run over here. I feel like these kids have so much potential but when they are put on the ESL track, they make it so hard for these kids to get out of it even though I know it's not supposed to be that way. Some kids have been in the ESL program for years and you would think that they would be accustomed to English if they immigrated here at four years old and are now about twelve years old. But they get stuck in the ESL program which moves at a ridiculously slow pace and they become accustomed to it and they feel no motivation to get out of the program because they have friends within the ESL program and they don't see a reason why they should want to go into a regular English class.

    Sorry just my rant. -_- i'm interested to see other responses and hear actual experiences! :smile:
  4. I moved here at 21 :smile:
  5. i came here from El Salvador when i was 4....
    i remember when i was in Kindergarten everybody spoke english except me...but by the end of the year i knew enough to have a 1st grade conversation!!
    i never felt that i fitted in really....for a long time i was a loner.
    I cried so much for my mom the first few weeks of Kindergarten...until i got a friend...but life as a non-english-speaking child is hard, trust me!!!
  6. hmmm, well the paper is really open-ended so what I did was I just wrote all that I know from my own experiences as well as what we covered in the class. Here is how I formatted my paper, and it surrounds mostly the life of an immigrant to the US starting from childhood and I progressed from there with just what I know.
    [starting with childhood and how kids perceived and single out the foreign student and it progresses about that for a bit and including things we covered in class]
    [Dressing a certain way to fit in and how it relates even to people who have NOT immigrated and who do this to fit in and I explained a bit about the two]
    [Leaving the previous country behind for some reasons, better life, what they had to leave behind (I'd love to learn of some more examples of this actually, to get into a more personal level)]
    [The importance of diversity as we are from what I understand the most diverse country in the world, so I put some things in as to why there's issues people have with those who speak other languages and people from other countries, etc.]
    [My own experiences especially in my workplace because it's extremely diverse and just how nice it was to learn about the other cultures, etc.]

    So I'm really curious about things similar to that because I'm wanting to learn about it on a more personal level and am looking to include things I've learned from people-- not solely from a textbook, which is fine but there's so much about an individual person's experiences that I'm looking to learn about. People I work with whom are from Brazil for example were able to tell me about their childhood and what they went through to fit in, even getting rid of an accent that their parents still have-- things like that.

    Thanks for any insight or any things I can add to my paper, I'd also love to know for myself! :smile:)

    --edit-- ah, thanks Carol!!
    I got into this a little bit too, because for me, I speak English and even I had a hard time fitting in-- imagine what it must be like to not even speak English and trying to fit in and be accepted as a child... must have definitely been so hard. Thank you for your input!
  7. Well, bf was born in Kenya. He came to the US when he was early twenties, no mid thirties. He had a big culture shock as to American dressing (he told me he used to look down and get embarrassed when he'd see girls in short skirts or low cut shirts b/c they don't do that where he was raised), he was not used to how aggressive and sexually open American women were, he has a distinct accent that is a mix of British/island, if I had to describe it, unless you are familiar w/ accents from that region, that he is proud of and has no desire to tone down, even though some of his siblings have, he is not into fitting in on a lot of levels- he enjoys American food and food from other cultures, but refuses to learn to cook it. So many other little "isms" he has, but I won't add more, b/c this could be useless dribble for you and not helpful.
  8. That is so so true. I never even thought of that! Something that we'd not think twice about because we've just grown up with it happening (really open and sexual people being almost the norm nowadays) that it is totally different from the way people are in other countries.

    Thank you! This was very helpful! I didn't even think of this and it's such a good point.