I'm Not in My Homeland Anymore
Voices of Students in A New LandBook - 1998
Written at the intermediate to advanced level, it's divided into three sections: Home, Leaving, and New Country and Strange Nation. Within the first two of these sections, sub-sections deal with topics such as "School and Friends," "Family," "Where I Lived," "Ceremonies and Beliefs," "War and Forced Labour," "Camp," and "Getting Out." Only New Country and Strange Nation, telling of the immigrants' arrivals in their new homeland, is undivided. The stories can serve as a basis for discussion, as a model for other "memories" writings,and as a facilitator for the process of communication between the newcomers and the strange nation to which they have come.
The individual stories that make up each sub-section are full of both information and emotion, evident as students tell about strong attachments, the enduring bonds of family and friendship, of desperate dangers faced and of difficulties overcome, of the gain of freedom and the loss of identity. At times humorous, at times critical, at times intensely moving but always highly observant, these writers' work will be of real worth in the eyes of your own ESL students since it tells the stories of many of them. It will be of equal value to your non-ESL students, too, as they learn something of the losses and nightmares of other lives lived outside the safety of North America, not as stories in the news but as the personal experiences of their fellow students.