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Linguistic Profile

Writing Sample

Oral Interview

Problem Scenario

Solution Questions

Societal Linguistic Background

Michael is an outgoing and pleasant seven-year-old from Vietnam. Born on March 24, 1997, this first-grader and his family have been in the United States for at least two years. Both of his parents are employed by Wal-Mart as nail technicians. They speak Vietnamese at the workplace and in the home, but they are able to communicate with Michael’s teachers in English adequately. Since English is quickly growing to be the preferred second language of Vietnam, Michael’s parents may have had some experience speaking English in their home country. Michael’s parents harbor no resentment toward their home country, but wanted to offer Michael more opportunities for advancement in America.

Upon arrival in America, Michael’s family found housing in a middle-class, English-speaking apartment complex. It would be typical to find Michael outside playing with the neighborhood children that also attend the same school.

After conducting research about Vietnam, some interesting trends were discovered. The unemployment rate in Vietnam was recorded as 25% (1995 est.). This seems excessive when compared to the rates of Americans who are out of work, which was estimated to be 5.8%. Also notable was the percentage of people falling below the poverty line. In Vietnam, 37% of citizens are considered to be impoverished. This is significantly higher when contrasted with the 12.7% poverty rate in the United States. For more statistical data on Vietnam, visit the CIA website. These factors may have been instrumental when Michael’s family decided to move to the United States.

Moving to Florida seems interesting when studying the Vietnamese population of the state. According to the 2002 American Community Study (conducted by the US Census Bureau), 35,437 claim Vietnamese heritage. That composes approximately .2% of the population of Florida. That is less than the total population of Vietnamese living in America—Vietnamese-Americans make up .4% of the population of our nation. For other statistics concerning the racial composition of the United States, visit the Census Bureau website.


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