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Language Barrier

Language Barrier

The United States is the country, which has no national language because of its cultural diversity. Although most citizens are English speaking, this fact allows people of non-English origin to speak their native languages whether it’s Chinese, Spanish or any other. There are many ethnic enclaves in the US which allow the immigrants to live in their familiar socio-economic areas even being a non–English speaker. According to one of the economic theories, which concerns ethnic communities, in this way, non-English speaking immigrants can enter the economy faster; it also allows opportunities for the employment that, in the other way, would be impossible due to the language barrier. It happens that often there is no desire or need to learn English inside the enclaves though unemployment outside the enclaves is a problem, as well as health care, social issues, and affordable housing. In order to get higher paid employment, English is essential.

In school, non-English speaking children face the problem of bilingual education. An English Language Learner (ELL) is someone whose native language isn’t English and who needs support while studying in school to get education. Most often, there is an achievement gap between students with English as a native language and children who do not speak English. According to the reports from 41 states, only 18.7% of ELL students satisfied the requirements for reading English. That also means that it’s not easy for children to juxtapose their ethnic culture.

It may seem that inside an enclave, there are many socio-economic opportunities for non-English speaking citizens, but challenges and difficulties occur when mainstream society and activities are necessary, as it happens with health care and education. Barriers tend to rise when it concerns health care for a non-English speaking patient, which also includes the lack of funds and health education.

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