Date of Award
The topic of this thesis is the relationship between language, “the American identity,” and self-esteem among second-generation immigrants at Fordham University. The scholarly discourse involves extensive research of bilinguals, linguistics, immigration statistics, socioeconomic statuses, and identity of second-generation immigrants. The very foundation of our language acquisition is developed before individuals are able to speak. The critical periods of children learning languages can affect their language proficiency for the rest of their lives. Furthermore, scholars connect communication and identity because each person is able to illustrate who they are through dialogue and conversation. I will be able to connect language proficiency and socioeconomic factors by analyzing twenty-one surveys and six interviews taken by Fordham Students. Their answers will reflect their past experiences with peers and authorities in regards to their confidence or perception of their intellect and communication abilities. I assert that the majority of second-generation immigrants at Fordham University have higher self-esteems due to interventions such as their parents’ educational successes, attending private schools, and continuous parental involvement in their studies. In comparison, the minority of second-generation immigrants who do not have the resources to overcome their obstacles often had lower self-esteems while speaking or writing in English. In addition, despite whether their English proficiency is accomplished or feeble, second-generation immigrants do not base their identity solely on speaking the language. English may be a factor to an American identity, but cultural ideals and mentalities etc are factors as well.
Krok, Andrea, "‘I Got it From My Mama’: Second-Generation Immigrants at Fordham University and their Relationship with the English Language and “the American Identity”" (2012). American Studies Senior Theses. Paper 27.