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Linguistic Profile

Oral Interview

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Rosamaria Elena Delgado, known by her family as Rosa, was born on January 21, 1996. She has beautiful tan colored skin, straight dark brown hair, and light green eyes. Rosa has a very outgoing personality, and she loves to play basketball with her sisters and go to the park to play baseball with her father. Rosa was born in the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, and she moved to the United States with her family at the age of 3. Like most hispanic families, Rosa had a very large extended family. The only ones who were fortunate enough to come to the Unites States were her immediate family members. They consisted of her mother Jisela Irma (28 upon arrival), her father Alberto Emilio(34 upon arrival), and her two sisters Fermina Jade (5 upon arrival) and Milagros Simona (6months upon arrival). Rosa's family speaks primarily Spanish, their native language.

In Honduras, Jisela was a stay at home mother. She was fortunate enough to have maids to clean their house, take care of the children, and even cook. She always tried to make a little money on the side by cooking her secret ingredient empenadas and specialty cakes. Alberto taught school at the high school down the road and he was also a part time doctor on call. He was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship that allowed him the opportunity to further his education at the University of Tennessee in the United States. He jumped at this oportunity and brought his family to the United States. Sadly his socioeconomic status in Honduras did not compare nor did it transfer when he and his family came to the United States. Alberto had a great time at school continuing his studies, however it was very difficult for him and his family because they did not know English. The Delgado family now had to survive on the few jobs that Alberto received and a few odd jobs that he and Jisela did on the side, which averaged out to about $525 a month.

Of course there were many adjustments that had to be made when this family moved to the United States. Rosa is in the 2nd grade, Fermina just started 4th grade, and Milagros is not old enough to start school yet. Rosa is one of the only hispanic girls in the entire school and this makes her feel very uncomfortable. There is one other hispanic boy, but he just ignores her and acts like she doesn't even exist because she doesn't know how to speak English. Rosa is treated like an alien, and is very uncomfortable at school. She is so outgoing and she wants badly to learn English, but it is very difficult for her because her parents and everyone she communicates with at home knows very little English.

This ten year old young lady is beginning to feel a great deal of frustration expressing her wants and needs at home, and not to mention trying to actually learn something from the lessons the teacher is trying to teach. Rosa has not even learned the information in her home language yet, so it is even more difficult for her at school. Not only does she have to try and learn new information, but she has to try and learn it in a brand new language. Rosa is very confused and lonely. She has no friends at school and everyone has made her feel like she doesn't belong. Everyone, but the teacher that is. The teacher tries to include her in everything and wants her to feel welcome, but with the language barrier, it seems to be unsuccessful in Rosa's eyes.

This new life is not only hard for Rosa, it is hard for her mother Jisela as well. Her husband is either at school, or in the office working with patients. He is unable to help her at home with the children and is unaware of the problems that they’re having in school. She no longer has a maid to help her cook, clean, or take care of the children and she seems to be under a great deal of stress. Jisela is used to being able to provide her children with anything they want, but now she barely has enough income to give her children the basic necessities. She doesn’t know how to explain why they can’t have the extra little things that all of the other children have. The house seems so bare compared to their lavish home in Honduras. They have hardly any furniture; just one couch and three matresses that were given to them by one of their neighbors. They have very little supplies, such as food and clothing and are having a very hard time surviving. It seems like almost every night now they eat the same things: rice, beans, and torillas. They do not like American food and refuse to eat the way Americans eat. They are struggling to fight total assimilation. They are afraid to stray from the ways of their ancestors but they know that the United States of America offers them the greatest opportunities.

The Delgado family is really having a hard time in America. They have very little money and they have a hard time communicating with anybody because they have not learned English yet. This is very hard for Rosa and her sisters because they want to learn English, but at the same time their family wants them to preserve their culture. The constant stress that this family is going through is beginning to really affect Rosa, Fermina, and Milagros, and their parents.


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