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  1. #1
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    Question ESL = Identity Conflict??

    I'm curious about ELLs in the U.S. that are required to learn English in the schools.

    • Did you feel you had to create a new, English-speaking identity for school?
    • And if your parents continued to speak your L1, did this cause tension when you felt you needed to practice English?

  2. #2
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
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      • English
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      • United States
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      • United States
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    Default Re: ESL = Identity Conflict??

    Quote Originally Posted by rpurdy1017 View Post
    I'm curious about ELLs in the U.S. that are required to learn English in the schools.

    • Did you feel you had to create a new, English-speaking identity for school?
    • And if your parents continued to speak your L1, did this cause tension when you felt you needed to practice English?
    This is only an anecdote and won't fully answer your question, but I had a friend in school whose parents had immigrated to the US from Poland. He was an only child, and neither of his parents spoke English. When we were in grade school, he spoke heavily accented English and it wasn't until about fourth grade that he sounded "like the rest of us." His parents never really assimilated; they shopped at Polish stores and received Polish newspapers from overseas. Ted (my friend) always acted as the liaison for his parents in important transactions (legal issues, talking to the doctor, calling the plumber, etc.). I saw Ted again at our 10 year high school reunion. He had a university degree and worked as an electrical engineer, but he still lived at home with his parents because even after living in the US for more than 30 years they had not bothered to learn enough of the language to get by. They relied on their son, and he felt obligated to stay with them and take care of them, rather than living his own life.

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