Immigration and the Language Barrier


Different languages are spoken across the country and also across many other regions and states. The use of different forms of communication can be known as a language barrier, and can bring many difficulties in a variety of areas. These barriers can be difficult to break through, but it is possible with hard work and determination.

Language barriers are problematic to tourists who visit a completely new country, but that is not the only group it effects. The same can be said for immigrants. When a person from one country enters a new one, it can be difficult to learn any new languages that come with it.

Jose Maya is a sophomore in the Tech & Media magnet. This student immigrated to the United States in the year 2014, because he had family here. He came from El Salvador a Spanish speaking country in Central America, so he had difficulty learning English. He has, however, met other Spanish speaking friends in the English Language Development program (ELD) to talk with, as well as other bilingual students.

Maya had not been taught any English in El Salvador. His teachers had only taught in Spanish. He says the most difficult part about English language is “ Comprenderlo y hablarlo ” , or understanding the language and speaking it. Although he has received help from the ELD program at South East, he feels that he still does not understand the language fully, but he says “ mas o menos” or more or less, he understands it.

An aspect of a language barrier is the would be, naturally, talking to a person who speaks a different language rather than what they are accustomed to. This can present many difficulties for an immigrant, as such getting an education. It is true that in schools there are programs made specifically for those who only speak Spanish, and teach them how to speak English. This can get them well on their way to becoming a fluent English speaker.


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