Lowering Stress with Bilingualism

New school, new friends, new opportunities and a new life is what America offers for immigrants. Family, friends, and even careers are sacrificed and left behind to pursue ambitions and to pursue a better quality of life in the USA. Indeed, living an American lifestyle is different from living in Asian countries. The struggle of Asians in adapting and practicing both American culture is called acculturative stress and studies show having high English and native language proficiency together, bilingual language preference, and strong family connections leads to low acculturative stress. Using English and native languages is important because integration of both languages into the new culture creates less language barriers for immigrants and Asian Americans. Bilingualism increases problem-solving skills and increases awareness that in any problem there are alternative ways to solve the problems. Certainly, solving problems efficiently helps in lowering acculturative stress. This also helps in the willingness to adapt to a situation and accepting the linguistic and cultural differences. Bilinguals are less stressed when looking at problematic situation than monolinguals. Overall, providing immigrants and minorities, in a dominant culture, with bilingual chances helps them lower stress levels.  Without support from each other in the community and bilingual policies, staying fluent in a native language would be difficult to maintain.

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