LatinaLista — “If students are to make knowledge their own, they must struggle
with the details, wrestle with the facts, and rework raw information and dimly
understood concepts into language they can communicate to someone else. In
short, if students are to learn, they must write.” — College Board President Gaston Caperton
“Words Have No Borders: Student Voices on Immigration, Language and Culture,” is a compilation of writings by student immigrants as part of a joint project by the College Board’s National Commission on Writing and the National Writing Project.
The collection of essays written by young people born in countries all over the world and now living in the United States, attending schools and learning English share, in their new language, their family histories, feelings, fears and hopes for their lives.
The intent of the project was to show how writing in English empowers English learners and, in turn, “eases their cultural transition, opening up new worlds and opportunities.”
Writing also gives them another dimension to their voices.
Immigrants Want a Say, Too
… The first thing I would like to talk about would be that immigrants do come to improve, not make things worse. If you look at it, not all immigrants come to affect the economy, the way we live or the things we do. They come for jobs and money. They come here for a better way of living, to get away from their government — not to “steal our jobs” or “take our money.” If you look at things, most immigrants take jobs Americans don’t want and think are low-class just to make ends meet. Not a lot of people look at it that way; they think that we come to harm them. I understand that what happened on 9/11 might have put the U.S. in a bad position, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who sets foot in this country is here to reenact that. …