What is Assimilation, Anyway?


I understand how you feel. My grandparents taught us nothing of the culture of the old country. But they did teach mr a lot about war, living right and to love with an open heart. Hugs, Barbara

A French American Life

I often meet people, my age or older, whose parents immigrated to the U.S. and intentionally avoided teaching their offspring their native language, believing that it would both inhibit their child’s ability to learn English and interfere with their assimilation into American culture. Every one of these now grown “children” expresses regret that they didn’t learn their family’s native tongue.

How times have changed. We now understand that, especially for young children, learning two or more languages is not only possible, but developmentally advantageous. Immigration laws have changed. Our world, too, is smaller. Once upon a time, people boarded a ship knowing they would never see their home country again. They were forced to cut all ties and make a home in the place they landed. Now, we are a Facebook or FaceTime exchange away; we can hop on a plane and be almost anywhere in the world in less…

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