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Living In Vermont Without English

Vermonters who don't speak English face barriers for things like getting healthcare and finding work, to challenges when it comes to safety, diet and education.
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Vermonters who don't speak English face barriers for things like getting healthcare and finding work, to challenges when it comes to safety, diet and education.

Many of us take it for granted that when we visit the doctor's office, shop for groceries or otherwise go about life in Vermont we do so in English. But more than five percent of Vermonters don't speak English at home. We're talking about how Vermonters without English navigate schools, health care, work and other basic needs. 

Dr. Andrea Green, director of the Pediatric New American Clinic at the University of Vermont Children's Hospital, discusses how non-English-speaking Vermonters access health care and how that relates to daily concerns like safety, diet and education.

Maria Mercedes Avila, an associate professor of pediatrics at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, discusses the linguistic and cultural barriers for non-English speakers in Vermont.

And Melita Sedic-Lawton, a Bosnian refugee who came to Vermont in the mid-1990s who now teaches in Williston, shares her experience navigating her new home in Middlebury with little English.

Broadcast live on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Matt Smith worked for Vermont Public from 2017 to 2023 as managing editor and senior producer of Vermont Edition.
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