Immigrant Interview Project



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Immigrant Interview Project

You will be interviewing an immigrant and creating in informational biography of this person’s immigration experience. To start, you will need to choose an adult immigrant. This could be someone in your family, a family friend or a neighbor. You will be provided a list of questions that you can ask during your interview. You must choose at least 20 questions to ask. This does not mean that you will use the answers from all 20 questions, but the more questions you ask, the easier it will be to write the answers from all 20 questions. Your paper must include 3 pictures of your person or that relate to your person. Include a map of their homeland. You need to include a cover for your paper.

In your paper, you will follow the format below.

Introduction: include the name, age, or year the person was born, relationship to you, birthplace. Where they immigrated from, where they live now, hobbies and interests. Also include why you chose this person.

Body: include when and why they left (experiences), travel, and new experiences in America

Conclusion: Talk about what the immigrant is like today. Is he or she successful? Would the person like to return to their homeland? Then give your overall opinion of the interview and restate your main idea.

Project Interview Questions

The following list of questions will help you get started on your project. They are listed in no particular order. You need to design your own list of questions and put them in an order that makes sense to you. Using these as a guideline, I suggest you choose those that will best help you understand your interviewee’s immigration journey. Make sure you provide your interviewee with a list of the 20 questions you plan to ask so they can prepare.

The best interview will be one where conversations back and forth feel natural. For example, a specific answer may encourage you to ask “follow-up” questions. Those answers may lead to others. Try to think of the interview as a comfortable conversation Relax and have fun!!!

1. Name of Person: Age/Year of Birth:

2. Place of Birth:

3. Relationship to Interviewer:

4. Why did you leave your country?

5. How old were you when you left?

6. What were your feelings when you left?

7. Did you leave any family members behind?

8. Did you leave anything behind that you wanted to bring with you?

9. Do you remember anything special about the trip itself?

10. Did you have any problems with the journey?

11. Where did you arrive in the U.S.?

12. What were your feelings when you arrived?

13. What do you remember about your first days in the U.S.?

14. What was the hardest thing you had to face when you first came to

America?

15. What surprised you most about the U.S.?

16. Do you remember anyone who made the adjustment easier for you? If so, what did this person do?
17. Who was your first American friend? How did this person become your friend?

18. What problems did you have that were caused by language differences?

19. In what ways is the U.S. similar or different from what you expected?

20. Did you attend school in the U.S.? What was it like for you?

21. Where did you get your first job?

22. What were some of you favorite new foods?

23. What do you miss most about your homeland?

24. How do you maintain the culture and customs of your homeland?

25. What had you heard about America before you came? What expectations did you have?

26. Was it hard leaving or exciting? What made it so?

27. What was your life like in your homeland?

28. Can you tell me about the government in your homeland?

29. Did you miss any family members? Are you able to keep in touch with them?

30. Did you consider living anywhere else? If so where?

31. What was the best thing about your immigrant experience? What has been most challenging or difficult about your experience?

32. Are there specific cultural traditions that you have brought with you? What is it and why is it important to you?

33. If you had not immigrated, what do you think your life would be like today?

34. Was it difficult to communicate when you first came?



35. How has your life changed since you came to this country?
You are not limited to these questions. You may come up with some of your own if you wish.

Tips for Conducting a Good Interview


  • Make sure the location you choose to conduct your interview is quiet and comfortable

  • Make sure you tell your interviewee that you will be taking notes on what they are saying (remember that the more detailed your notes, the easier your paper will be to write.

  • Make sure you have permission to record the interview if you plan to record it

  • Give a list of questions to the interviewee so that they know what to expect. This is a good opportunity to explain your project and purpose

  • Be encouraging to your interviewee-

    • Make sure to look at them and smile when they are talking

    • Be familiar with your questions so that you can pay attention to your interviewee and not the paper in your hand




            • Make sure your interviewee has answered your question and that you have received the information you are looking for. IF not, ask the interviewee to elaborate

            • Pay attention for something that you find interesting so that you can ask a follow-up question. (Write it down if you need to so that you don’t forget to ask it!)

            • Don’t be afraid to ask questions that you might not have written down. What your interviewee says might lead you somewhere unexpected.




  • Wait at least 3-5 seconds after you think your interviewee is done speaking to ask your next question. They might have more to say

  • Thank your interviewee for their time. Be sure to ask permission to contact them again if you need to clarify or get additional information

  • Be gracious and appreciative



Grading:
__/20 Interview questions- you have asked your interviewee a minimum of 20 questions. You have written down responses in as much detail as possible.
__/60 Paper: your paper is properly formatted for an informational paper. You have included the elements from the informational writing standard of:

Introduction introduces your person and engages the reader

Body that includes main ideas and details that in in order

Conclusion that wraps up the discussion you had with your interviewee

Conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization etc.)

__/10 Pictures or photos, map that are relevant to your person and paper

__/10 Cover: You have an attractive cover and it is neatly put together.


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