Several years ago, America was taught to be a 'melting pot,' a place where immigrants of different cultures or races form an integrated society, but now America is more of a 'salad bowl' where instead of forming an incorporated entity the people who make up the bowl are unwilling to unite as one. America started as an immigrant nation and has continued to be so. People all over the world come to America for several reasons. Most people come to America voluntarily, but very few come unwillingly. For whatever reasons they may have for coming they all have to face exposure to American society. When exposed to this 'new' society they choose whether to assimilate or not. Assimilation in any society is complex. Since assimilation is not simple, people will have negative experiences when assimilating into American society.
In American society, learning to speak English properly is a crucial factor in assimilation. People who have decided to come to America have found it rather difficult to assimilate into American society for several reasons. One reason being that learning a new language is or can be considerably difficult depending on your age. This is so because the act of learning a new language such as English, is much more difficult for an elderly person than for one who has not reached adolescence. According to Grognet, for elderly people there are several factors that affect their willingness to learn. Among those factors are, physical health, mental health, cultural expectations, attitude, motivation and finally the ability to acquire the correct diction, and to suitable articulation (Grognet 296-297). For a person who has not reached the prepubescent age, it is...
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...accomplished the assimilation into one race, it consists of people sharing a similar identity. In the words of Richard Rodriguez, ?We are gathered together-but as individuals?we stand together, alone,? thus people will assimilate but as individual ?Americans?.
1. Grognet, Allene. ?Elderly Refugees and Language Learning.? Hillard, Piro, and
2. Houston, Jeanne. ?Arrival at Manzanar.? Hillard, Piro, and Warner. 307-314.
3. Lopez, Cynthia. ?Cranderismo: A Healing Art.? Hillard, Piro, and Warner. 334-336.
4. Rodriguez, Richard. ?Does America Still Exist?? Hillard, Piro, and Warner. 183-186.
5. Tan, Amy. ?My Mother?s English.? Hillard, Piro, and Warner. 42-46.
6. Hillard, Judith, Vincent, Piro, and J. Sterling Warner, Eds. Visions Across The Americas. Orlando, Fl: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998.
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