This is a story about learning a second language. It is about trying to use the little you know to communicate which many times creates funny and colorful misunderstandings.
Noa grew up in Jerusalem, where America was the most exotic place other than Mars. In the 5th grade, Noa’s family left their home in Israel. She arrived in America speaking very little English. But miracles do happen…
At school Olga was taught not to speak Spanish or risk punishment. At the same time, her Japanese-American friends were able to learn the Japanese language and study its culture. How she could straddle multiple worlds too?
New York City born-and-raised Michele goes on a trip to Paris, France, and learns what it means to be both a Nuyorican (a New York Puerto Rican) and an American in a way she didn’t expect. And what does being “an American” really mean, anyway?
Inanc Karakaylak was sent from Turkey to Muscatine, Iowa as an Exchange Student where he experienced intense culture clashes, ridicule, and cold weather. However, he was blessed to have an amazing host family including Christian Minister, Hal Green.
When Antonio Sacre was excluded from acting jobs due because he was either too ethnic or not ethnic enough, he began storytelling to pay the bills. Soon he encounters a grade school bully and discovers the power of bilingual storytelling.
Antonio explores the challenges and joys of trying to raise a bilingual child. As anxious new parents, Antonio and his wife ask, “Are two languages better than one?” and find humor along the way.
As a Cuban and Irish American child, Antonio deals with being “too ethnic” or “not ethnic enough”. By trial and error and with the support of his family, Antonio reclaims all of his ethnic heritage and his Spanish language.
Brenda’s grandfather collects, dries and sells seaweed along the coast of California. When she is older, she finds his ways strange and the work hard, but the two find unique ways of talking and enjoying each other’s company.
A story about Elizabeth, an “Army brat”, who must navigate the world for her Korean immigrant mother. Through this process she learns to stop being embarrassed by her mother and shifts to standing up for her.
Ada Cheng explains the meanings of her Chinese name: Shu-Ju, and the connection to expectations of her parents and their Chinese culture. She details why she chose to stay with the name Ada and what the name means to life and identity.
When Carrie Sue and her fiancé decided to marry there were many who thought their relationship would not last long – including the representative from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico who was handling their visa.
Soon after 10-year old Michele’s great-grandmother dies, she gets lost at New York City’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. What happens next confirms she doesn’t fit in with her family or her people. Can you remember a time you felt you didn’t belong?
Eldrena is confused when she sees a poster and students say the same thing. She asks her Tewa-Hopi grandmother what the words mean. In the process she hears a story that teaches her about integrity no matter how much time passes.
Franco-Americans from Quebec assimilated into the larger Anglo culture in the United States as became more “invisible.” The story that Michael tells, as Jean-Paul Boisvert, shows a couple’s resistance to that “invisibility.”
Olga explores the various labels for her ethnic group: Mexican, American, Mexican American, Latina, Chicana and so on. In doing so, she finds out how she wants to define herself and her pride in her cultural life.
In high school, Olga was told by her counselor that her Mexican family was too poor for her to go to college. Hear how she found a way around this negative advice.