Becoming U.S.: Language and Assimilation

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Becoming U.S.: Language and Assimilation

Wednesday, 6/6/18
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Event Type

Lecture/Panel Discussion
Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
19107 Philadelphia , PA

An Immigrant Heritage Month Program:  How does the acquisition of English affect the immigrant experience in the U.S., especially across generations?  How is assimilation in all aspects of life affected by the language one speaks?  For this program during Immigrant Heritage Month, we will consider how language acquisition affects life outcomes, both from our moderator, sociology professor Dr. Faye Allard-Glass of The Community College of Philadelphia, and from a panel of people who have experienced English language learning.  Join us to let us know of your experiences too!

Come early to see a document display of items from HSP’’s collection related to citizenship education and naturalizations.  Refreshments will be served at the program’s conclusion.

A teacher workshop will be offered 5:30-8:30 the same evening that will enrich the program with suggestions for how to teach this subject in class.  

About Becoming U.S.

Becoming U.S. is a series of programs launched by HSP in fall 2016 to encourage sharing across ethnicity, race, and citizenship status. We want to hear and learn from each other about the human endeavor of transition and settlement. Through civic dialogue, we wish to personalize stories often presented in the media in only the broadest of strokes, to foster a mutual respect and renewed appreciation for the histories of all Philadelphians. 

Starting with Dutch, Swedish, and English settlers in the 1600s, the Greater Philadelphia Area has been inhabited by wave after wave of immigrants. Many are drawn to the area for personal or familial reasons, while others are fleeing their homes out of political or economic necessity. They arrive documented, under-documented, or undocumented. Regardless of classification, immigrants' contributions are integral to Philadelphia's culture and history. 

Philadelphia has always boasted a diverse population, and continues to do so. According to the Brookings Institution, “Among its peer regions, metropolitan Philadelphia has the largest and fastest growing immigrant population, which now stands at over 500,000, comprising 9 percent of the total population.”

Behind these sterile statistics lay vivid, individual experiences detailing the human endeavor of transition and settlement: struggles with assimilation, trials in maintaining cultural identity, and perhaps – finally – success in calling Philadelphia “home."