Meet Sai Lakshmi Balaji

Behind every great story, there is an inspiration that kicks it all off. The focus on these posts, personally, has been on education or lack thereof for new Americans. The story was inspired by Sai, a woman that works at Sam’s Club and was mentioned very early on in the first story. When I initially spoke with her, I had no idea how big of a piece she would have within the grand scheme of things. However, during our first meeting, she pointed out that a major problem with immigrants coming over to the U.S. was the lack of education they were getting in their home country or the fact that they were not getting proper education here, which led to dropping out of school. While some people can thrive and become successful without education, most need it and it is a very important aspect in ones life because it can lead to better opportunities and help build a stable future.  Continue reading

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Literacy Green Bay

When taking a look back, the problem that these new Americans face, according to the statistics shown, is they are not getting the proper education needed. Whether that is due to dropping out of school, bad teaching habits, or just not getting the right education from their homeland, it is very apparent that something has to be changed. One thing pointed out was the fact that the teachers had to have a really good understanding of how to teach new Americans the curriculum in a way that would be understood. However, this cannot necessarily be the full answer to the problem because every teacher has a different teaching style and approach in the classroom. When these students are having a difficult time in school, they resort to dropping out. Even after dropping out, they still need to have ways to get properly educated for life outside of the classroom, especially if they need to learn English.  Continue reading

Baseball invites Immigrants to Dominate

By Karlee Dies

Comedian Trevor Noah talks Sports in America

The crowd is cheering. The aroma of hot dogs, popcorn and excitement fill the area. The teams are playing their heart out. Memories are being made. Some of the greatest memories come from sports. American sports are known for great fans, great games, and great athletes.

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Places with language barrier

by Taylor Buffington

Based on what I have picked up there are some places in the Erie area where New Americans may struggle with English. East High School in Erie is a place where learning English is probably a big deal. Learning a new language is probably harder on kids than it is on adults. East High School has so many students that probably need some help.

east

http://www.eriesd.org/east

East High School is a high school located in Erie, Pennsylvania and it has many students who are learning English. I did an internship with a program that took place at East High and in the main entrance of the building there are maps from many countries around the world. During the time of my internship I was curious as to why those maps were there. The map were of far off countries like Iraq and Ethiopia. Upon taking advanced electronic journalism I would learn why the maps were there.

I learned that East High is well known for having cultural diversity. East High has approximately 900 students and of those 900 students 300 of them are English language learners. School can be a very hard place to fit in even for students who already speak English. It is quite hard to imagine how much harder it is for the students who can’t speak English. It is great that students have opportunities to learn English and that there are some people out there that are willing to lend a hand to students who need help learning English.

How to learn English

by Taylor Buffington

In the Erie School districts there are some programs that help the students learn English due to English not being their native language. It is rather difficult to learn English it is maybe the hardest language in the world to learn. Lots of times children are not exactly here in the United States by choice. There are many cases in which children have no choice, but to come here to the United States and they can’t speak English well at all. Some school district do offer programs where that can be helpful.

The Erie public school system has a comprehensive educational program for English language learner (ELL). The main goal of the ELL program is to give students the necessary skills to function successfully in an English speaking environment. In the ELL students are provided with instructions in order to help develop the best skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. They are also required to learn science, social studies, mathematics, and language arts.

Seeing students who struggle is quite possibly one of the hardest things there is to watch. In the United States there are many different things that students will struggle with. There are some students who just have a very hard time learning things, but there are also others who just aren’t able to speak English at all. That seems that would be the ultimate challenge as a student when you don’t even know what it is you are learning.

There are many reasons why students don’t learn English. Some of the reasons are it is too difficult, it is expensive, it takes too long and those are just a couple of the reasons. Many of the New Americans that come to the United States are not here by choice and they don’t exactly have a lot of money. It seems many things that are needed in this world are quite expensive. It being difficult seems to be pretty common because nobody wants to do anything that is difficult. The fact that it also takes a lot of time is a good reason. Learning a new language is something that takes a very long time and is not something that can just be done instantly. New Americans don’t exactly have a lot of time on their hands so learning a new language is a great challenge. There are also some New Americans that just don’t see a need in learning a new language.

With some organizations out there to help learn a new language they are some things New Americans definitely need to take advantage of. These programs are something that is needed in order for the New Americans to assimilate and feel more welcome here in the United States.

Baseball and a Dream: The Story of Successful Businessman Fernando Aguirre

By Karlee Dies

fernando-aguirre

A boy. A favorite sport of baseball. A dream. And Determination.

Fernando Aguirre was born and raised in Mexico City. His love for baseball started out at an early age.

As a kid around 12 or 13, his father took their family to San Antonio, Texas to play in a baseball tournament.

“At that time, my dad used to speak very good English and we saw him interact with people and he would speak for all of us, the family. He would order food and take us shopping and whatever we wanted to do,” said Aguirre.

It was at this time that in admiration for his dad’s speaking abilities that he too wanted to speak English like he did.

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Education for New Americans

There are many new Americans in the city of Erie. What differs from person to person is how they adapt to coming from a different country to the United States. It differs because of home life and education. Some people have more education and opportunities than others, which is a problem when discussing new Americans.

Sai works at Sam’s Club. Her and her family are new Americans who have been living in the U.S. for about nine years. Education is key in every aspect of life. It starts with language barriers that new Americans potentially face. However, Sai claimed that the language was not a big barrier at all. Essentially, you could put the blame on their education system back home. She said that there was no language barrier due to the fact that her and her family studied English in India. Sai was very adamant on saying that education and profession made it much, much easier to adapt to life here in the states.  Continue reading

Employment America

By Marlenna Godfrey

 

There are the basic needs that the refugees receive they are financial assistance for housing, healthcare, and clothing and food. There is not enough assistance to be able to afford everything they need to live with. Around the United States the situation is different for each state and there are different conditions that are taken into consideration. In San Diego housing is very expensive. Finding a job is difficult because the new Americans have to learn enough English to be able to get a job.  According to Cruz, Job Placement Coordinator, the number of refugees living in America are mostly composed of women and children, most of the husbands are killed and aren’t able to qualify to relocate. Continue reading

The Fee for Freedom: The Hidden Struggles of Naturalization

By Karlee Dies, Becca Martin, Aaron Foster-Williams

The plight for immigrants fleeing their country doesn’t end once they arrive in America. It’s actually just beginning. There are many obstacles immigrants face in the process of assimilation, but there is one that stands out amongst the others. Aspiring citizens must pass a vigorous test to complete the process of naturalization. The test is the main barrier that separates every potential new American from becoming a citizen. The majority of the American population are natural-born citizens. Therefore, they are not required to pass any exam in order to become a citizen. This disparity between those who were born citizens and those looking to become citizens makes it difficult to understand the struggle of assimilation. Continue reading

English: The Only Language That Matters

 
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“Pardon me?”  “What was that?”  “Please repeat yourself, I cannot understand you.”  Imagine hearing these phrases upon your arrival in a new and strange country.  Not only once or twice, but repeatedly.  Imagine being put in an emergency situation attempting to contact the proper authorities, but the phone operator cannot understand you.  And no matter how hard you try to explain the situation to the person on the other line, your frantic request for help isn’t met.  Continue reading