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Latin American Immigrants in the United States: Cultural and Language Adaptation

Student: Iuliya Alikaeva

Supervisor: Sergey Ryabchun

Faculty: School of Foreign Languages

Educational Programme: Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2019

The phenomenon of Latin American immigration into the United States has been a major trend in the US for centuries, overriding any other waves of immigration. Despite the topic of immigration to the US being reviewed and researched extensively, most of those studies describe the current and potential effect the immigration has on the United States as a country, without taking the effects of immigration on the immigrants themselves. As for language adaptation issues, the topic remains largely untouched. Therefore, the project is aimed primarily at researching the cultural and language adaptation issues which Latin American immigrants face upon immigrating to the United States, focusing on the role the language barrier may play. To achieve that, methods of quantitative and qualitative data analysis of the immigration statistics, current US legislation, and existing studies on the topic have been employed, as well as some elements of historical comparison method. The research part included a quantitative analysis in the form of a survey. The hypothesis was that adjusting to a de-facto mostly English-speaking environment of the States could be a major stressor that leads to other adaptation issues. The results of the research have partially proven the hypothesis, although other adaptation issues stood out as more prominent. Keywords: Latin America, United States of America, immigration, immigration legislation, immigration statistics, cultural adaptation, language adaptation, language barrier.

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