Throughout the nation, ELs’ educational experiences are abundant with gaps in learning. They are split, divided, and sectioned into intervals of nomadic, sinuous paths. War, civil unrest and corruption are the master thieves of time. ELs trudge through a magnitude of adversity unbeknownst to many. Here are their stories.
"My family want to leave because military used to come to school and take students from school to serve military. Then one day they go to my big sisters school to take her to serve military. My Dad don’t want to let her go because he know the situation there. And you can pay money if you have it. But my father know the way. It was risk. If they see you skipping from one country to other, they will kill you. I was 10 years old."-a2g student, 21 years old, four years interrupted education
Once in the United States, the hurdles continue as ELs navigate the complicated naturalization process. Some students, being the sole adult in the family with basic communicative English, become heads of their large households. Rapidly, these ELs become chauffeurs and interpreters. Presented to the societal sphere are fogged lines between parent and child. They siphon through inaccurate dates on documents. Others live day-to-day, imprisoned with the fear of deportation.
In the United States, seeking asylum, one of my students went to an immigration appointment and left in handcuffs. Missing an entire semester of school, my student and their father remained incarcerated for three months. Prior to entering the United States, the student missed a total of eight years of education because of an eye illness.
“I dropped school because I had to, I never wanted to. I had to work to make expenses for my family. The responsibilities I had required me to drop school.”- A2G student, 20 years old, three years interrupted education
“I have a message for those who have a different understanding of refugees and immigrants. We always view other people with our eyes, we need to view other people with their eyes. Some refugees and immigrants as myself have experienced an interrupted education. We never wanted to have that experience. It is the time that changes things. What is noticeable is of how we are passionate to have education after so much we have been through”-A2G student, 20 years old, Four Years interrupted education