Comparing/Contrasting the Replies of Chinese and Mexican Immigrants from a White Boy from Detroit’s Point of View

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W7082: Foundations and Methods of English Language/Literacy Development and Content Instruction (Online) X 426.3 (Fall 2011)



Comparing/Contrasting The Replies Of Chinese And Mexican Immigrants From A White Boy from Detroit’s Point Of View

Jeff Sill
Asian and Mexican students approach learning English from perspectives as far apart as the distance between Asia and Mexico. After reading The Importance Of School Context, Immigration Community and Racial Symbolism by Dr. Carmina Brittan, it confirmed many of the things that I felt about this matter, but felt reluctant to express. Dr. Brittan summarized my thoughts and allowed me to gain perspective on why students of Asian descent seem to excel at my school, while students of Latino students struggle. There are three reasons that Asian students get good grades and seem to master English sooner and more effectively: Asians are eager to assimilate into white American culture while Latinos view assimilation negatively, teachers tend to view Asian students as hard working and disciplined while Latino students are viewed as not as hard working, and that both groups view learning English as a power struggle.

Asian students view assimilation into white American culture as something positive. They feel that learning English and learning American customs as something worth achieving. Asians have such pride in their educational heritage that learning English should be no more difficult than any other subject. They work together within their learning communities to “provide information on how to assimilate into the mainstream school culture. Students often talk to newcomers about how to dress, how to avoid speaking out to prevent others from detecting their accents, how to make American friends, etc”. Latino students view assimilation as a slap at their native culture. They view their fellow Latino students who speak English well as “…all stuck up. Who do they think they...
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