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January 10, 2012
Interview by students Tibebu Gessesse & "Lois" Yanling Xie, submitted by teacher Jerald Pike

As adults, it is sometimes hard to imagine life through the lens of a youth. Now imagine life as a high school student who is also new to the United States and/or new to learning English.

English Language Learners from SIATech at Los Angeles Job Corps Center interviewed each other to discover each other's background differences and find out how life in the U.S. has changed them. The following is a write-up of one of the interviews.

Williams Pirir
Williams was born in America; his parents were born in Guatemala. He likes playing soccer and he is a good student in school.

Williams' father came from a small town, but his mother came from the capital. His brother was born in Guatemala. Williams' family is nice and loving people; Williams is close with his family.

Williams likes playing soccer. It is because of his family's influence. His father always played soccer with him when he was a child, so he is interested in it, too.

When he went back to Guatemala, there was a big difference in the houses, food, cities and so on. He had a good time in Guatemala with his family. Williams spoke English with the people in Guatemala. But they didn't understand him at all. It was hard for him to communicate with the people. It made him feel terrible. It made me want to teach them English in Guatemala, and help them become stronger.

Williams wants to be the president of Guatemala. He is going to open schools in order to give people a higher education, and encourage them to learn English.

Williams feels good about being born here, because it made him a good American person. He could adapt to the life here entirely, even though he knows it is hard to live with immigrant parents because they do not speak English.

SIATech (pronounced SIGH-a-tek) is an award-winning network of charter schools focused on dropout recovery. SIATech is a WASC-accredited high school that operates in partnership with the federal Job Corps and Workforce Investment Act programs on eight campuses throughout California. The school serves 100% low-income and previously out-of-school youth. SIATech excels at identifying student strengths and individualizing instruction to meet each student's needs and goals. The school's safe and caring setting enables students to take charge of their learning and obtain the tools they need for lifetime success, whether it is at their chosen career or further education. For more information on SIATech, watch this short video or visit the SIATech website.

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