A Book for the Future American Citizen

Maria del Carmen AmadoReview by Maria del Carmen Amado
Manager/Editor, Westchester Hispano General

Immigrants who live in the U.S. often want to obtain American citizenship so they can be part of their new country. To do so, they must prepare for the U.S. citizenship test, and familiarize themselves with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) interview process.

To assist immigrants with this process, three experienced professionals from Pearson have developed a program called Future U.S. Citizens. This book/DVD program is specially designed to help immigrants who decide to apply for U.S. citizenship to pass the test.  The program combines lessons with interactive practice and is aligned with the current process required by the USCIS.

We spoke with co-author Federico Salas-Isnardi about what makes Future U.S. Citizens so effective.

Mr. Salas-Isnardi, what can you tell me about the program?
“Each of the components (each book page) is presented on DVD so that the student and citizenship candidate can learn in an interactive way and listen to the audio at the same time. For example, if the page contains questions about the citizenship test, students will hear the pronunciation and can record their own voice. This will allow them to monitor their own pronunciation by comparing it with the one in the DVD.”

Future U.S. Citizens contains examples of the 100 civics test questions as well as examples of the English, reading, writing and speaking tests. What else do students need to learn?

“We have many paragraphs written specifically to provide students with real practice. Even though the test does not start until candidates have pledged, it is important for citizenship candidates to be able to be able to hold a conversation when the immigration officer greets them and talks to them. That is the first impression candidates will make.”

How is this program interactive?
“The interactive component allows students to read each page while also listening to the words. Students can also enlarge text or the page on their computer screen. There’s also a video with modeled strategies for asking questions or having a question repeated.”

Any final thoughts?
“We encourage immigrants to prepare well, and if possible, to take classes while using Future U.S. Citizens for self-study. It is important to be well prepared before applying for citizenship because English cannot be learned that quickly. If you send your application right after starting to learn English, you may not be ready in time for your interview.”