How Poverty Correlates With Non English Speaking American Families

How does poverty affect the people in the United states today? Poverty is currently affecting 16.3 percent of women, 13.8 of men, and 21 percent of all children in America. The highest poverty rate by race is found among Native Americans, which is 27.6 percent. African americans have 26.2 percent poverty and Hispanics having 23.4 percent. How do these families provide for their children and help them succeed if they can barely even pay the bills? Families all over the United States struggle with financial problems and it has become a large obstacle that many people can never recover from. A high percentage of children involved in poverty have parents who work, but switching from job to job and very minimum wages leave their families in very bad positions and leaving them with low incomes. Poverty can interfere with children’s learning abilities and can lead to these children to having intellectual and behavioral problems. Poverty also can cause a family to have mental and weak health. If poverty is present in a family’s home risks of weak or mental health are strongest for children. For these children there is also a big risk of children failing school, struggling with depression, and having suicidal thoughts. When putting a family with young children in poverty they can experience great risks of mental health problems throughout out their lives. Many of these children speak another language and are trying to learn english while also trying to learn everyday subjects such as math, science, history, and others. Poverty is a tough and complicated concept and is present throughout many peoples lives.

Poverty can also affect the roles of parenting and can cause a great amount of stress. It is no surprise that being a parent who is living in poverty can struggle with stress and being interacted with their children’s school life. A article that relates to this topic is, Poverty and Language Development: Roles of Parenting and Stress by Suzanne C. Perkins, Eric D. Finegood, and James E. Swain. In this article they are discussing the topic of how when living in poverty a family’s Socioeconomic status can affect mental and intellectual health. Poverty can lead to a decline in a person’s vocabulary, people can also start to struggle with creating well-formed sentences in language, and can cause a decline in phonological awareness at many divergent developmental stages. Throughout the article the authors are focusing on two theories for how poverty links language problems with the brain systems affected while living in poverty. These parents living in poverty deal with emotional distress that affects their parenting which also causes stress. The parents who live in poverty focus on their everyday needs which can affect the children’s language. Poverty affects parenting behaviors, the parent’s actions, the brain, and language development. In the article U.S. Pushes the Use of Tutors at Failing Schools by Renee Montagne, Montagne concisely explains how non english speaking children, who live in poverty, are offered free after school tutoring. Many of these students don’t even know about this tutoring and their parents do not either because of how busy they are.

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This article also explains how many non english speaking families are involved with their children’s learning but are to busy to help their children. Also many of these families can not help their children because they barely know english themselves. It states in this article that there is a law called The federal No Child Left Behind law which requires help to low income students who are stuck in low-performing schools. But, Two million eligible children are not getting it. With this being said many non english speaking students struggle with getting the help they deserve. Many of these students are put into classes for English as a second language and a class for English Language Learners. These classes help them learn the english language better and also help them become better, more involved students. These students families are struggling trying to find the time and the money to help provide for their children’s learning. Most of the time they end up trying to come up with the money but can’t because of their low incomes. Many teachers have started to be more involved in these non english speaking students. These teachers are starting to look out for culturally unique vocabulary, use sentence frames to give the student practice with using english, making more work visual, putting the children in groups, and communicating with the ESL teachers to try and find better ways to help them learn. Also stated in Montagne’s article, many adults wanting to help these students started using bus signs, billboards, and TV commercials. He states that, The visual media, he says, kids and their parents respond to. I believe this statement is true because very many of these non english speaking families do not know about programs to help their children with their learning abilities. But if they see it on tv or while going to work they have a better chance of getting into these programs for their children. There is many new strategies that schools are getting more involved in to help these millions of students.

Many non-english speaking families need support, growing leaders, help introducing themselves, care and help for their children in school, and help enhancing their involvement in their children’s learning. In the article, A Circle of Caring by Zimmerman-Orozco, Orozco states many strategies for teachers to help the parents get more involved in their children’s learning. It also gives strategies to help the families become more comfortable with their everyday lives and their children’s everyday lives. Throughout this article there is many heartwarming moments as these hispanic families give up everything to come to America in search of a better life. Doing so they have to get comfortable with living in America and speaking english. Doing so these families children feel uncomfortable and unwanted in their new schools. They struggle trying to learn but also struggle trying to fit in. Their parent also struggle with fitting in and feel very uncomfortable when meeting with their children’s teachers. This can affect the children in a dramatic way because they feel as if they can’t ask their parents for help because their parents do not understand what they are learning. When struggling with both of these things it is hard for a student to stay focused and learn properly. On top of learning properly these students go home to hardly anything and help their parents with things that are not school involved.

In Orozco’s article it states that many schools have had a sharp increase in English language learner’s population and has begun to affect the school’s academic achievement goals. The Hispanic student population has grown from 14 percent to 36 percent and a lot of those students are put into the ESL program. This program is helping student’s all over the United States and will continue to help them learn. The main problem with these non english speaking students is their family lives and many of their families are living in poverty. Living in poverty means these families live in a state of privation and can not afford the necessities needed. With a lack of food and clothing many families suffer from want. Without being able to afford these necessities many families make their children help around the house and start to work at a young age. With that being said many of these students go home and can not get any help from their families and have responsibilities to do around our outside their homes.

Today President of the United States, Donald Trump, has a very controversial appearance in the public eye due to his stance on varied races. President Trump is also most significantly known for his take on immigration/immigrants. Trump is heavily opinionated on immigration laws and is against the topic altogether. There is proof of Trump’s disgust with immigration/immigrants everywhere, but most evidence is held in his speeches as well as his social media presence. Sources exemplify his disgust in one derogatory phrase he used while meeting with El Salvador and African countries; “”why are we having all these people from s******e countries come here?”” During the initial stages campaigning for presidency, he announced very clearly he would desire his main focus and hot-button issue of choice to focus on immigrants and the factor that too many immigrants exist in the United States. To Trump, re-constructing a wall with notable security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week appeared to be the perfect solution. He pushed the idea that too many immigrants are taking jobs Americans could have to drop unemployment rates, but in reality the issue dives deeper than that. There is also multiple counts of public proof that Trump is a long-time racist, and seems to not be changing that state of mind anytime soon. Why would someone constantly degrade and insultingly mock various races if they are not racist? The answer: they would not think twice about criticizing something if it did not bother them. It is also very suspicious as well as disrespectful that Trump is married to an immigrant and still continues to harass them and their cultures.

A thriving social life is typically not very common of non-english speaking Americans and immigrants new to America. Therefore, a social life is even more uncommon of a immigrant that is also poor. When making the giant decision of creating a new life halfway around the world, a social life would not be the first thing to come to mind because there is a multitude of more important aspects than that, especially when financial stability is not relevant. Charles Hirschman debuting in his article, The Impact of Immigration on American Society: Looking Backward to the Future, backtracks to the full history of immigration and the problematic issues coming with such big relocations. Hirschman states Americans could be less interactive with immigrants because any Americans, like people everywhere, are more comfortable with the familiar than with change and that we Americas fear that newcomers with different languages, religions, and cultures are reluctant to assimilate into American society and to learn English. However, American outlook on immigration should not just be based on the fear factors of a now normalized change. Charles also initiates we as Americans should be more welcoming to these new American citizens because we may not be as different compared to each other than we think. This is proved when Hirschman admits many opponents of immigration are old-stock Americans who have all but forgotten their immigrant ancestors. By saying this the author creates a more light context and relates Americans to immigrants from different countries. Hirschman suggests that most Americans born here in the U.S. have traces of some type of immigrant centuries ago that was not originally native to America either. So, if most of us are not even really from the United States, should we not try to aid our fellow immigrants because it was once our family in that situation?

Nevertheless, Americans today do not focus much on that aspect, even if they are correctly proven facts of history. If we Americans see different, we are programmed to immediately disassociate ourselves from the situation. This is sad because immigrants move here to start a new life and get severely criticized instead of being welcomed as they should be and taught basic principles of life here based on things that are hard to change (stuck being poor). Another look at why immigrants are not that social in the beginning stages of their time here is because the adaptation is such a difficult factor. Studies show English is one of the most difficult languages to master. The fear of having a thick foreign accent and a weak english vocabulary drives many non-english speakers to remain silent because it is better to save oneself from embarrassment rather than to have social interactions. In addition, culture change is also a big factor of social change to immigrants. If someone is used to certain mannerisms it can be a difficult process attempting to catch on to another one. These cultures and mannerisms include and expose many significant aspects of a race like slang, clothing, food, patterns, colors, symbols, etc.; anything that differentiates us from them basically.

In conclusion, poverty throughout the United States is a serious issue, especially for those who can not speak the english language. When living in the United States knowing english can affect the jobs people get, english can influence a child’s learning process, and english can change the responsibilities that families face. These non english speaking families face many obstacles that create a financial situation that many struggle to get out of. The number of immigrants coming to the United States continue to increase. With this being said many communities have started to provide influential ways communities can make non english speaking families feel welcoming and comfortable in their society. Many of these families also struggle with engaging themselves in their children’s lives. These children continue to struggle with their academics and their health. Sasticic’s are saying that over the next four decades many of the United States citizens will come from immigrants and different cultures. United States citizens need to realize how big of a impact these immigrants are on the country and on our economy. A lot of these non english speaking families continue to struggle with poverty and have a very hard time trying to be more involved in their children’s education. In 2018 a mass number of schools around the United States have programs to help these children. Also a large amount of people in the U.S. are trying to make these families feel more comfortable and give these families the opportunities they never had before coming to the U.S.. Poverty can result in many different ways and has a great impact on immigrants and their families.

Alcohol And Substance Abuse

When adolescents begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol many parents believe their children are just going through a rebellious stage, but that is not always the case (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). There are many reasons why adolescents begin experimenting with drugs and it may lead to a serious addiction. Boredom is the most common reason why adolescents begin experiment with drugs and alcohol. They have too much time on their hand, so they experiment as a way to make time go by (11 Real Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). Another reason for experimenting for adolescents is to bond with other peers. Adolescents need to feel like they belong in a group, so they use drugs and alcohol to bond with peers who use them (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016).

Depression may cause adolescents to begin using drugs and alcohol as well. They use the drugs and the alcohol to escape their feelings. Instead of dealing with the emotions they use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Some parents may believe that they children as just acting their age, but, they may be dealing with depression (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). With adolescents comes curiosity. Some adolescents become curious about what it would feel like to be drunk or high from drugs. 50% of students in a survey of 8th to 12th grade students “have misused drugs (prescription or illicit) at least once in their life (Teen Drug and Alcohol Statistics and Information, 2018).

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Adolescents believe that nothing bad will happen to them when they experiment with drugs or alcohol, but that is not always the case (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). “In 2011, approximately 188,000 young people went to the hospital for injuries related to alcohol consumption (Teen Drug and Alcohol Statistics and Information, 2018). Those young people probably didn’t expect to be going to the hospital due to alcohol injuries, but they were. Adolescent girls often begin experimenting with drugs to help them lose weight. Entering high school girls become very self-conscious about their weight and attracting boys. They turn to drugs like, cocaine, to help the shed the weight fast (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016).

A few other reasons they start experimenting is because of stress, peer pressure, and genetics. When adolescents begin to enter high school, they schedule becomes so busy with taking classes and extracurricular activities. They don’t know how to cope with dealing with the stress of their busy schedule, so they turn to drugs to relieve the stress (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). In the survey with 8th to 12th graders, it also showed that of 12th graders, 7.5% of them have used Adderall in the last year when they weren’t supposed to (Teen Drug and Alcohol Statistics and Information, 2018). Adolescents begin to feel like if everybody else is using or doing it, then they should do it as well. Peer pressure to fit in with certain peer groups make adolescents begin to experiment with using drugs (11 Reasons Why Teenagers Experiment with Drugs, 2016). If there is a family history of alcohol or substance abuse, then adolescents have a genetically wired desire to experiment with drugs and alcohol, which then can lead to addiction.

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