The most important reason for learning a new language is to convey information in that particular language. The ability of the acquirer to embrace and appreciate a language is what determines the future endeavours. Many people think that skills of acquiring English as a second language entails use of extensive conscious grammatical regulations or hard drilling.

It instead requires ones patience since the process is gradual. Similar to the way child learns, the listening skills are attainable before speaking ability. Fluency and proficiency comes later when one start to specialize in the subject matter. A good listener should have huge amounts of input to learning the language. One major effort that is required and almost definite is keenness. Most immigrants suffer from anxiety because they lack patience and proper inputs for their attempts to acquire a new language.

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One must learn to recognize that improvement of language is only attainable if one recognizes that the inputs are comprehensible to the beginner and not forcible for an output.

Thesis Statement

“ESL and Bilingual programs’ effects on teenage immigrants’ future life in New York City” The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the English problem affects teenage immigrants’ future lifestyles. What are the main contributing factors for learning English as second language to immigrants, particularly in New York City? The paper also highlights some of investigated studies or hypothetical analysis as evidence to argue out various opinions, which exist concerning the input and output in the process of acquiring a new language. The conclusion of this paper involves a personal opinion based on the research and with regard to the impact of language acquisition.

Rhetorically one would question if the main reasons for learning a second language were for an immigrant to come to terms with the social-lifestyles. How does learning the language promote professionalisms and proficiency among immigrants?

Challenges of Learning English as a Second Language

Most immigrants are not English native speakers and thus require strong input to acquire the required English-language skills. In line with Duff (p 103), research studied have articulated the input and output as essential aspects in acquisition of any second language. The advantage of being part of a native speaking region offers an advantage because less effort will be put in place during language learning. The input stands for the contribution or participation effort of the learner while the output is productivity or results received from the learner, in this case, of immigrants the output is the ability to comprehend and use the language. Research has brought forward a major hypothesis that relates to language acquisition and mainly its input.

Second language learners of English need to be in a position to gather a lot of knowledge regarding the language, if only they are in a position of acquiring comprehensible input as an assistant in the acquisition process. On the other hand, another hypothesis on to the researched or suggested factors emphasizes on the importance of comprehending meaning of the new language especially considering the lifestyle of teenage in New York. The slang and generational differences that Immigrants face poses a huge challenge of ability to understand the language thoroughly. Teenage immigrants tend to acquire what and how the general New York population speak because they consider it as proper English (Martinez, p 34). This presents a common effect because the immigrants must blend and feel as part of the society hence hindering acquisition of proper form of English.

Since most of the NYC immigrants are from diverse destinations and are not native English speakers, teenage immigrants have a difficult time acquiring formal English as their second language, as a large population is not able to speak or even write proper official English. If the teenage immigrant picks a certain point of stand, then they are in a better position of acquiring more opportunities. This is real time communications where learners make use of their situations and the fact that they are part of the society, to present target language and informally learn it as opposed to receiving the classroom input knowledge concerning the language. On the same line of immigrants learning a second language, there are various definitions of functions of output such as the fluency or skill-building function. There is also the noticing or generating function that evokes the conscious mind for reaction, the hypothesis-testing function and the Meta-linguistic function, which deals with deep thoughts.

These useful utilities for second language learners especially immigrants assist them to improve their learning easily and most importantly enjoyably. (Waters, p 212)


The other negative effect concerning acquisition of language by a teenage immigrant fall upon the background involvements and experiences he/she may have had in the past. In accordance with Davis (p 2) input is “the communicative language a learner hears or reads in context and to which he or she attends for its meaning”. This definition indicates that second language learners who are immigrants to the New York City are in a better position of acquiring knowledge of the English language if they concentrate and have the passion, due to the interactive environment, by listening and participating. If they are able to utilize the learning and produce or communicate meaning, the learners are thus in a situation that favours their learning of the language. They then acquire knowledge pertaining it showing that they understand it or they are in a position to manipulate or formulate their personal meanings during interaction (Davis, p 2). Based on research students fail to obtain second language grammatical accurateness because they fail to use it in the class or outdoor setting just as they would with their fast language, which they are comfortable with during conversations (Gunderson, p 32). Immigrants in New York initially face difficulties of communication but the settlement situation forces them to learn and use English regardless of the background effects for instance those from the war torn areas (Magro, p 9).

Continual usage and practice of formal English, eventually makes them perfect users and quick learning even in professional and academic setting. With a close reference to interpretation of the processes involved in English learning as a second language among immigrants’ teenagers, they often refuse or lack interest of using the language formally, due to the form of orientation they get from the streets (Payor, p 77). Every form of learning appears contradiction, thus the confusion over formality and informal process of communication. This is due to being short of any foundational knowledge and the only exposure is the informal English styles such as street slang. This portrays how the New York City environment affects the prosperity in acquiring English language.

The immigrants ought to have extra formal knowledge pertaining it or highly depend on the formal styles of writing or speaking taught in schools (Pryor, p 78). Arguably, the formal style of language learning involves building of skills by consciously learning the language’s rules but fails to provide the immigrant with a chance to gaining control through practice. City involvements such as New York help them to use the language automatically, effectively and in a relaxed manner due to diversity of immigrants.

It is a function of production where learners have to apply the practicing strategy to promote the personal output skills they have learned or mastered. A major challenge in the learner’s consciousness indicates that in the process of using the second language formally, immigrants have the ability to understand the gap between what they need to state with regard to their competence and what is required of them (Kanno and Applebaum, p 3). There are possibilities for the learner to get a triggering factor to gaining extra knowledge pertaining English language or improve communication but they are not in a position of comprehending true meaning and thus distinguish between formal from informal styles (Kanno and Applebaum, p 3).

This point of view provides many research studies that try to identify the role of environmental exposure in English as a second language acquisition, especially on the issue of enhancing grammatical competence. The last major challenge that teenage immigrants to New York have to face concerns their chance to tryout inter-personal understanding or objectives regarding the language and comprehension procedure. Exposure assists them to connect easily with usage as well as operation.

Meta-linguistic function denotes that the English language learners can use the environmental advantage as a positive influence, considering its functions. Consequently, the output has the meta-linguistic effect that assists learners in controlling or producing knowledge of the new language. From this point of view, immigrants learn English and at the same time have to engage formality to improve knowledge of the language.


The immigrants have to fight the fact that it is still easy to identify them as non-native speakers or writers in the interactive process. Those who are not settlers to an English-speaking region like New York have weaker expressive abilities than the immigrants do, therefore, the conclusion for this research finding is evidently that being a teenage immigrant to the New York City is challenging but advantageous due to diversity of foreigners and exposure to Language usage. Acquisition of formal English enables an immigrant to communicate the intended meaning to other people. English as Second language places an immigrant in better grounds even professionally in future as English is one of the most spoken languages worldwide.

An immigrant would be able to interact with people of diverse background professionally and comfortably through proper English. However, the challenges of acquiring proper formal English persist. Generally, such an immigrant will still lack familiarity or control over complexity of grammar, overall inaccuracy on formal usage particularly the vocabulary or morphed syntax and lower precise words pronunciation.

Acquisition entails mastering the details keenly and therefore it is slow and subtle. Considering a city like New York inhibited by people of diverse backgrounds, language acquisitions seem to be conservative since it attempts to reference the environment.

Works cited

Davies, Amy. Characteristics of Adolescents, Sierra Leonean Refugees in Public Schools in New York City. SAGE Journal. (2008). Print.

Duff, Patricia. Language, Literacy, Content and (pop) Culture: Challenges of ESL students in mainstream causes. 58.1.

(September 2001). 103-132. Print. Gunderson, Lee. Voices of the teenage Diaspora. JSTOR Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 43.

8 (May 2000). Print. Kanno, Yasuko. & Applebaum Sheila. ESL Students Speak UP: Their stories of how we are doing. TESL Canada Journal.

12.2 (1995). Print.

Magro, Karen. Exploring the Needs and Challenges of Adults from War Affected Backgrounds: New Directions for Educators. The MERN Journal 1. (2007). Print. Martinez, Isabel.

Understanding the Age – Identities and School-Going Practices of Mexicans Immigrants Youth in New York City. High School Journal. 92.4 (4 April-May 2009). 34-48. Print. Pryor, Carolyn.

New Immigrants and Refugees in American Schools. Questia Journal. 77.1 (2001). Print. Waters, Mary.

Ethics and Racial Identities of Second-Generation Black Immigrants in New York City. JSTOR Journal. 28.

1 (1994). 212-218. Print.


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