English Language and Kimberly Chang

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America, we often hear it called “the land of the free”, but is this a true statement? When Kimberly Chang, the main character of the book “Girl in Translation”, and her mother move here from Hong Kong this is the vision they have in their minds. A land of opportunity for them to better their lives since Kimberly’s father passed away. Sadly, when reaching their destination, they quickly learn that this is not the reality for many immigrants in the United States, including them. Even with the help of Kimberly’s Aunt Paula, who moved to the United States with her husband years before, the Chang’s still struggle. This book is filled with hard choices, and even tougher consequences, that the young Kimberly Chang must make for her and her mother that will affect the rest of their lives.  When Kimberly first started school in America she had a very hard time adjusting, especially with knowing so little English. Her teacher, Mr. Bogart, doesn’t bother to accommodate her and even accuses her of cheating. This is a major flaw with the public school system. Those who immigrate to America often have very little knowledge of the English language, and need help when reading. This should have been taken into account, especially within the first few months of Kimberly’s education. When the Chang’s lived in Hong Kong Kimberly was the brightest student in her class. I feel that I can relate to Kimberly in this aspect. As a young child I went to a very small school where people didn’t place academics at the top of their list. I was one of the only kids who truly focused on learning. In Hong Kong, it was viewed as an honor to be such a bright student. However, as Kimberly learned, in America many times students who receive good grades are picked on. You even begin to feel ashamed that you have done well on tests and hide your grades from others just to fit in. As you get older you learn that intelligence is an important key in life. As Kimberly reached college age and got...
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