Language Barriers of Hispanic Immigrants

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 30 December 2016

Language Barriers of Hispanic Immigrants

Language barriers are one of the common problems of the Hispanic immigrants in the United States of America. It cannot be denied that with the growing number of immigrants in the country, it is being predicted that such number will not decrease with the succeeding years. Meaning to say, there are going to be more immigrants to be expected to live in the country. Because of this, it has been important that the language barriers created among the Hispanic immigrants are solved and eradicated. This paper discusses the different language barriers that are being faced and experienced by many Hispanic immigrants in the United States of America.

More specifically, this paper answered the following questions: 1. What are the various language barriers created among the Hispanic immigrants when adapting to the United States of America? 2. How do such language barriers affect the lives of the Hispanic immigrants in America, both students and professionals? 3. What can be done in order to diminish if not totally eradicate language barriers? The methods used by the author in gathering the necessary information needed to complete the research are via interviews and researches.

Interviews were made in order to gather first hand information about the language barriers among Hispanic immigrants. The author interviewed different people from the Hispanic descent living in the United States of America to ask about their experiences in speaking the English language which they are unfamiliar with and to know about how they were able to reduce and eradicated the impact of being a foreigner in a land where English is the dominant language being used to communicate verbally and written. Introduction

The immigration of the United States of America surges as many Hispanics migrate to the country for residency or for greener pastures. But in relation to it is the increasing diversity and failure of cultural adaptation caused by language barriers that are being experienced by the Hispanic immigrants in the country. Many student immigrants in the country found it hard to adopt the culture in America because they cannot communicate well with the new people and environment that surround them (Norton et al, 1978).

Most of the Hispanic immigrants in America came from a country where English is not the main language being used for communication. With this, most of the immigrants are being culturally shocked and hence, failed to attain the very purpose they went to the United States of America and that is to study and work. According to Pinzon and Miguel (2000), many Hispanics who went to America to study are being engaged to domestic violence, low educational achievement or the lack of it, teen pregnancy, and even poverty among others.

The principal reason of such situation is the fact that the Hispanics are not able to easily adapt to the academic life in America because it has been hard for them to pick up the language, communicate with it and apply the same in their American dreams. For these reasons alone, it has been the plight of many educators to find ways as to how the Hispanics, both students and professionals alike, be motivated to study and learn English as quickly as possible.

It could be that the incorporation of the students to the classroom and to make then engaged will be of great help (Roberts, 1999). Hence, this paper is for the purpose of identifying the language barriers created among the Hispanics immigrants when adapting to the United States of America as it relates to education. Literature Review There are many researches that have been conducted in order to understand the various language barriers that are prohibiting the Hispanics to learn English as their Second Language.

It cannot be denied that immigrants get their support from their families. It is the latter that sets goal for the immigrants, both students and professionals alike, to study and work in America for greater opportunity to succeed and be successful in America. According to Zhou (1997), it is the adult immigrants and the professionals who are getting the attention of the many researchers and educators in the country. The focus of the society is to determine how the adult immigrants can easily adapt to the “American Style” of living.

The aim to support the learning of English as Second Language is geared towards them while the students aged below 18 years old are not being given much attention. It is in this situation that most of the students find it hard to overcome fear in living the “American Way and Style. ” They tend to become aloof, rebellious and uninterested to learn. It has likewise been found out that the result of such neglect among the Hispanic students is the apparent negative views towards the culture of America.

Further studies have revealed that it will be very hard for the students to adapt to the “American Style” because of the absence of support from their families and the society as well. The moment that these students and young immigrants set their feet in the land of unending opportunities they are immediately evaluated based on the standards of the Americans without considering that these younger generations are from another country whose style of living is totally different to that of the Americans.

With this, the young Hispanic students have lost connection to their “world” which in turned caused them to feel deprived and at lost in the new country they are exploring and the educational environment they have been placed. In this situation, the parents of the students who can easily adjust to the “American Style” have opted to relocate to a place in America where the surroundings resembled that of their own. They usually settle to places where they can hear the same sound, use the same language and act the same.

Hence, the students and the community no longer struggle to learn the English language and press on to adapt the “American Style”. This could be a good thing to do in order to make a smooth transition of lifestyle. But what others failed to see and realized is that such smooth transitions are merely increasing the language barriers among the Hispanic people. The familiarity of the Hispanics in their new “home” simply decreases the chance of learning the English as Second Language. There is no longer a single purpose for the usage the language now that they are living in the same old environment.

It has become apparent then that the Hispanic people who are living in this kind of society are those who are afraid to barge into a different lifestyle and to likewise adapt the culture that they have come to meet in the country. It is a known fact that it is hard to adapt to the society where the English is the dominating language. More studies have stated that when the Hispanics students have been speaking English language in school, it is a good indication of learning. However, such learning is being barred when they are already in their homes and uses their native tongues.

The key in learning English and speaking it as Second Language is practice. As an old adage goes “practice makes perfect. ” Hence, when the students will not speak English and use their native tongues instead, it will be hard for them to speak English on the next day. Suffice it to say, it is important that even in the homes of the students, the language should be utilized in order to communicate in order to develop confidence in communicating in English not just to the family members but also with the people around them in schools and in their immediate neighborhood.

It is the dominant language that makes Hispanics struggle with learning English and to become fluent and proficient with it. Learning English is not an easy thing to do especially for individuals who have spoken a different language for a long time. In the United States of America, they will study the lessons and practice English. But the difficulty entailed to it makes the students resort to speaking the language they know better. Speaking the language is not just dependent on knowing the principle but rather to apply the same in a real time setting.

It is not about learning the words and the right pronunciation but rather to be fluent in speaking and be confident about it. All around the world, English is the only language that is acceptable in terms of communicating in a cross-cultural manner. It is an international language that enables people from different races, background and culture to understand each other without much struggling because of the presence of differences.

But more than that, it cannot be denied that the English language is a source of knowledge for the people. Its role in the lives of many people from all walks of life is indispensible. For example, most books are written in English. Probably, 99% of all publications are in English. It is in this very essence that learning English as Second Language becomes as much as important as breathing. In a classroom setting, it has been revealed that the first and foremost learning skill that has to be taught for Hispanics is speaking in English.

Hence, with the changing times, teaching from the school administrators and teachers should be striving in teaching English as Second Language for the immigrants in order for them to develop and improve their communication skills. The responsibility of the teachers is to ensure that the students are able to grasp the principle of learning the language and the importance to learn the proper usage of words to speak better and to communicate a very efficient and effective manner that people will understand. However, it has been found out that there are no enough regular English classes that are being afforded in schools.

Hence, the students are not being given training and education to study English and to speak like Native English speakers. It is important that every educational institution must provide proper training grounds for the Hispanic students. This is to ensure that they will have an equal amount of training that will make them qualified to the standards of the Americans. There are different ways that can be utilized in teaching English to the Hispanics. It is true that while learning English is hard it is as hard as teaching the same.

The lack of facilities and regular classes for the English language makes it harder for the students to learn the language which will eventually cause for their lack of confidence and seclusion from the American society. The lack of right English will cause an even longer bridge that the Hispanics will not be able to cross in terms of the cultural differences and diversity that are apparent in the society. Added to the dilemma of the Hispanic people is the fact that the absence of the ability to speak English correctly and fluently makes a person lesser.

People often think that when there are individuals in the society that cannot even speak English, such individuals are very unfortunate. Many opportunities are being closed and no one wants to take them in the social circles. The connection of the old world and the “American Style” will never meet. If people want to live to the fullest the “American Style” then they have to learn English (Stevenson, 1974). They need to speak in the manner that can be understood by people from all ages and from all cultures and not necessarily the American way.

The Hispanics and other non-Native American speakers who are learning the language are proved to be excelling in the subjects of Math and English this is because they have more motivations than the native ones. They are in America to study and improve their lives and that motivates them to go on despite of its difficulty. Suarez-Orozco (1987) revealed that a number of my teacher-informants reported early on that these Central American students were well motivated to learn (particularly English).

The teachers noted that immigrant students exerted greater effort, studied harder, and often received better grades than other minority students. The teachers reported that many informants were more respectful and “nicer to have around” than either Anglo or other minority students. More objective measures seem to confirm these impressions. For example, in both school sites the Central American students were statistically underrepresented in numbers of school suspensions. Five of the graduating recent arrivals from Central America in my sample (10% of the total sample) were accepted into prestigious American universities.

Many Central American students were learning English at a rapid pace. In fact, so many were learning English fast that in both school sites, teachers privately reported that the counselors systematically kept the immigrants in English as a Second Language [ESL] classes and lower-level bilingual classes longer than required. This was done because of lack of space in the regular English classroom. A systematic pattern of subtle discrimination was evident as I be-came more intimate with the teachers, counselors, and staff.

The powerless immigrant students were not a priority: they were thus assigned to lower-level classes, classes that in some cases they had successfully completed in their country of origin. The above condition and information only proves that many immigrants, born or not, are striving hard in order to meet up with the expectation of their parents. It must be noted that most of the immigrants are people who are not well-off of their country of origin. Hence, the pressure to prosper and to improve their lives is being placed in the hands of the students.

It is the duty and responsibility of the students to study and to secure the future of their family in the United States of America (Gammage, 1999). Research Questions This research paper aims to identify the language barriers being experienced by the Hispanic immigrants in the educational setting and system of the United States of America. More specifically, this research will answer the following questions: 4. What are the various language barriers created among the Hispanic immigrants when adapting to the United States of America? 5.

How do such language barriers affect the lives of the Hispanic immigrants in America, both students and professionals? 6. What can be done in order to diminish if not totally eradicate language barriers? Methods The primary method utilized in this research to gather the necessary data and information used in this paper is the interview method. The author undertook interview process to various Hispanics in the United States of America and asked them questions as to what are the language barriers that are affecting their immigration in the country.

The interview was conducted on a man to man basis wherein the author met with the participants and asked the questions pertaining to the main problem of this paper. The author also employed purposive method of selecting the participants of the study. The author established the following criteria in the selection of the participants to be interviewed: a) participants must be less than 18 years of age; b) must be of Hispanic descent; c) migrated to the United States of America to study and; d) incorporated in the educational system of America.

Interview method as a form of data collection proved to be useful as the author was able to gather first hand information in real time and to acquire relevant information as well. Other information used by the author has been taken from different studies and researches published in the form of scholastic journals and books accordingly. Findings Upon collating the information needed in order to complete this research paper, the author has yielded the following results: 1. It has been found out that there are several language barriers that have been created among the Hispanic descents in the United States of America.

Some of the common language barriers are: a) the absence of regular English classes that teach English as Second Language to the students; b) the lack of confidence among the Hispanics to speak the language in a foreign country; c) the absence of proper pronunciation of the English language taught in their country of origin; d) lack of practices in speaking the English language; d) strong inclination to their original culture; e) not enough reason to study English; f) living in a city or place in the United States of America surrounded by non-English speaking people and; g) a feeling of being uncomfortable in speaking the English language in a nation that has English as its dominant language. 2.

Such language barriers have decreased the confidence of the Hispanic students in doing their best in schools and in excelling in the field of learning English and in their various endeavors in life. 3. There are many things that can be utilized in order to diminish if not totally eradicate the language barriers that have been created among the Hispanic immigrants in the United States of America. Among the solutions to the problem is by a) conducting regular English classes in schools; b) placing the Hispanic immigrants in residences where the neighborhood that speaks English only; c) encouraging the families of every immigrants to speak English even in the comfort of their own homes to build confidence and; d) motivate the students to learn amidst difficulties and cultural differences.


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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 30 December 2016

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