Immigration : Immigrants take an oath of citizenship at a swearing-in ceremony. Immigrants wait for the ferry to take them from Ellis Island to New York City (ca. 1900). . Past and Present

A Discussion

Discuss the following questions with your classmates:

• Do you think there is more or less immigration to the United States now than in the past?

• Have the countries of origin of the immigrants changed over the years?

• Do you think people’s reasons for immigrating to the United States are the same today as they were in the past?

• Have people from your country immigrated to the United States? If so, how many? Why?

0 B. Vocabulary and Key Concepts

Read through the sentences, trying to imagine which words would fit in the blanks. Then listen to a dictation of the full sentences, and write the missing words in the blanks.

1. Throughout history, people have moved, or__________________ ,

to new countries to live.

2. ____________________________________ can take many forms:

those that are characterized by a shortage of rain or food are called and, respectively.

3. Sometimes people immigrate to a new country to escape political

or religious___________________ .

4. Rather than immigrants, the early___________________ from

Great Britain considered themselves___________________ ; they

had left home to settle new land for the mother country.

5. The so-called Great Immigration, which can be divided into three

__________________ , or time periods, began about 1830 and

lasted till about 1930.

6. The Industrial Revolution, which began in the nineteenth cen­tury, caused as

machines replaced workers.

7. The__________________ of farmland in Europe caused many peo­

ple to immigrate to the United States, where farmland was more abundant.

8. Land in the United States was plentiful and available when the

country was__________________ westward. In fact, the U. S. gov­ernment offered free public land to_________________ in 1862.

9. The__________________ of the Irish potato crop in the middle of

the nineteenth century caused widespread starvation.

10. The Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II contributed

to the noticeable___________________ in immigration after 1930.

11. The first law that__________________ the number of immigrants

coming from a certain part of the world was the Chinese Exclu­sion Act of 1882.

12. It is important to note that in 1965 strict___________________

based on nationality were eliminated.

13. At the end of the 1940s, immigration began to increase again and

has, in general, risen___________________ since then.

14. Will the__________________ continue for non-Europeans to

immigrate to the United States?

15. The U. S. immigration laws of today in general require that new

immigrants have the___________________ necessary to succeed in

the United States because industry no longer requires large num­bers of workers.

Follow-up: Check the spelling of the dictated words with your teacher.

Discuss the meanings of these words and any other unfamiliar words

in the sentences.

Using the photographs and the vocabulary exercise as a starting point, write three questions that you think will be answered in the lecture.

Examples: • Is immigration to the United States increasing or


• How many immigrants return to their countries of origin after a short time?




Follow-up: After you have written your questions, share them with your teacher and your classmates.

Q D. Notetaking Preparation

1. Dates: Teens and Tens

In dates, teens and tens (1815 and 1850, for example] are sometimes confused in listening. For teens, as in 1815, both syllables of 15 (FIF TEEN) are stressed, with heavier stress on the second syllable. For tens, as in 1850, only the first syllable is stressed (FIF ty). Write down the dates and phrases you hear. For a whole decade like the nineteen forties, write the 1940s.



C. Predictions


c._________________________ h________________________________

d_________________________________ і_____________________________

e—————————————– j———————————————-

Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher by saying each one as you write it on the board.

The lecturer uses the names of several countries as well as the names of the people who come from those countries. Check your knowledge of these names by completing the following chart in three minutes. A knowledge of the names of these countries and their people will help you recognize them when you hear them. Ask your instructor to pro­nounce the names of these countries and their people before you listen to the lecture. You will probably want to abbreviate some of these names as you take notes.






Britons; the British














Follow-up: After you check your answers with your teacher, answer these questions: Which of the above are Scandinavian countries? Which are Southern European countries? Which are Eastern European countries? Check your answers with your teacher.

Q A First Listening

After a rather long introduction in which the lecturer discusses what immigration is, some general reasons that people immigrate, and the kinds of people who came to what is now the United States while it was still a colony of Great Britain, he goes on to discuss three main subtopics. In the first listening, make sure you get down the main subtopics; take down relevant details that you have time for, including those in the introduction.






Follow-up: Now check your major subtopics with your teacher.

Q B. Further Listening

While listening again, write down necessary relevant details below the main subtopic to which they belong. Remember to use proper number notation to save time.

Follow-up: Check your notes. If you missed important information or have doubts about your notes, (1) verify them by asking a classmate questions to fill the gaps in your notes or (2) listen to the lecture a third time. When verifying your notes with a classmate, do not show each other your notes; ask specific questions to get the information you need.

Examples: • Could you please tell me what the lecturer said about the

composition of the U. S. population in the Colonial Period? • Wflhat was said about Ireland and the crop failure?

This is also a good time to check to see if the lecturer answered your Predictions questions about the lecture.

0 A. Accuracy Check

Listen to the following questions, and write short answers. Use your notes. You will hear each question one time only.

1. _________________________________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________________________________________



5. .________________________________






Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher. If your score is less than 70 percent, you may need to listen to the lecture again or rewrite your notes so that you can understand and retrieve the information in them.

B. Oral Activities

1. Review

In groups of four, practice giving sections of the lecture to each other. Take turns practicing different sections until everyone has had a chance to speak. Student A will give the introduction, Student В will give subtopic 1, and so on. Check what you hear against your notes. If you don’t understand or you disagree with what you hear, wait until the speaker finishes. Then bring your notes into agreement by clarify­ing points of disagreement, as follows:

• Could you repeat what you said about the population during the Colonial Period?

• My notes are different from yours. You said the famine was in Eng­land, but I think you’re wrong. Let’s see what the others have in their notes.

Discuss with your teacher and classmates reasons why people either leave your country or come to your country. Do people leave your coun­try for economic reasons? For educational reasons? Do they usually return home? Do people come to your country to work or to study? If so, who are these people? Do any of these people become citizens? How long do they stay in your country? What are some of the benefits of hav­ing immigrants in a country? What are some of the disadvantages?

C. Collaboration: Writing Answers to Essay Questions

On the quiz at the end of this unit, there will be short-answer ques­tions and essay questions. You will answer the short-answer questions with a few words or a sentence or two. You will answer the essay ques­tions with a complete paragraph.

In groups of three or four, plan and write essay answers to the fol­lowing questions on immigration. Appoint one member to write; all members will participate in planning and helping with the answer.

Use these guidelines:

1. Take the question and turn it into a general topic sentence to start your paragraph. For Question #1 below, you might begin: Between 1830 and 1930, Europeans immigrated to the United States for a number of reasons.

2. Choose specific relevant points from the lecture to support the topic sentence.

3. Make a brief outline of your answer so that when you write it you can concentrate on writing rather than remembering.

4. Write full sentences to develop your answer. (On a quiz, do not simply list points of support unless you run out of time.)

5. Write only the information that the question asks for. (If you do not know or are unsure of the answer to a quiz question, write a quick, brief answer to get some points, and concentrate on the other questions.)


1. Discuss the reasons why Europeans immigrated to the United States between 1830 and 1930.

2. Describe the population of the United States during the Colonial Period.

Follow-up: Share your answers with at least one other group. Or share your answers orally as a class, and discuss the strengths in each answer.

D. Pursuing the Topic

The following are recommended for a closer look at immigration in the United States:


Sowell, Thomas. Ethnic America: A History. New York: Basic Books, 1981.

Sowell discusses the contributions of different ethnic and racial groups in the United States.

http://uscis. gov

The U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Web site contains statistics on immigration, interesting articles, and information on processing immigrant visas, naturalization, and so forth.

Wernick, Allan. U. S. Immigration and Citizenship, revised 3rd edition. New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2002.

A guide for those interested in immigrating to the United States.


Avalon, Barry Levinson, director; 126 minutes, PG.

The film spans fifty years in the lives of a Russian immigrant family.

Malcolm X, Spike Lee, director; 201 minutes, PG-13.

Biographical film of a famous African American civil rights leader-, the film shows the influences, including painful white in­fluences, on the leader’s life.


Interview someone whose parents or grandparents immigrated to the United States. Beforehand, prepare interview questions as a class to ask

• where the person immigrated from

• when and why the person immigrated

• other questions your class is interested in

Write down the answers to the questions, and share the informa­tion with your classmates.

Variation: Invite an American to visit your class, and have the whole class interview him or her by using the questions you wrote.

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