Language A Barrier To Immigrant Integration

Recent research in New Zealand reveals one of the main issue hindering the ability of immigrant families to become integrated within society is difficulty learning the native language. A common complaint cited by immigrants is arriving in New Zealand with high hope for a better economic and social life only to encounter prejudice and difficulty in getting ahead in their work environment. A young Muslim woman spoke of being alienated because people could not accept the veil she wore while a young Muslim male spoke of being treated by many as though he was a terrorist. Another factor that emerged from the research was conflict within immigrant families as their children learned language and culture of the new country while their parents clung to the older world.

The research is exactly what every generation of immigrants to America encountered. Immigrants to any land find they initially are strangers in a strange land until learning language or getting to understand the new culture allows adjustments in their original culture. If one makes the long journey to a new land, there must be new attitudes and the central issue is maintaining key aspects of the culture brought to the new land as one learns new components of culture.

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