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Last Updated on May 10, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 154

"American Girls" tells of a problem that many young immigrants to the United States must face—difficulty speaking English in school. Tere's English is heavily accented, and she therefore tries to avoid speaking in the classroom, wishing that her teachers would call on other, more outspoken students. When called upon to...

(The entire section contains 154 words.)

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"American Girls" tells of a problem that many young immigrants to the United States must face—difficulty speaking English in school. Tere's English is heavily accented, and she therefore tries to avoid speaking in the classroom, wishing that her teachers would call on other, more outspoken students. When called upon to give an answer, "It was just too difficult to say it in English." Young people in similar circumstances will find Tere an empathetic protagonist who speaks on their behalf; native speakers of English will be given a glimpse of another point of view regarding school: "The English-speaking students had it so easy. All they had to do was study and they had the answer." The idea that just studying is easy may be a novel one for many young readers, but the story is about opening up new ways of viewing experiences, not just for the characters but for the readers, as well.

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