This is a suggested list of discussion questions or writing prompts to use with the book Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga. This text exemplifies what it means to be a teen English language learner as well as a refugee. The protagonist of the book is a teen girl who lives in Syria with her family. In the beginning of the book, the readers see a teen who loves movies, has friends, and worries about her family, which many teens will relate to. Things become increasingly violent in Syria and it no longer is safe for Jude to live there, so she and her family flee to the United States. While in the United States, Jude grapples with what it means to be a refugee and multilingual. This book can be used to help students generate ideas about their experiences as they relate to the experiences of Jude. They can use these ideas presented in the writing as well as class discussions to help them think about how they want to craft their personal narrative and the message they would like readers or viewers to receive.
- Page 5: How do you see your home country? How is it portrayed in the United States (US)? Why do you think it might be portrayed that way?
- Page 17: How is your view of the US compared to others in your family or your peers?
- Page 19: Has anyone ever mispronounced your name? What did you do?
- Page 29: In the text, people are protesting in Syria because they want more freedom and democracy. Have you heard of protests happening in the US or your home country? Why do you think people protest? Who holds the power in these situations?
- Page 43: Are there any proverbs or sayings in your language or culture?
- Page 47: How did you find out you were coming to the US?
- Page 63: If you practiced English when you lived in your home country how did you feel like you were doing? Is English different in the US compared to what you learned?
- Page 69: How does an American look and sound? Why do you think that?