America the Bilingual

Episode 6: Little Ketchup Girl

How hard can it be to go up to the counter at McDonald’s and ask for ketchup? The answer might depend on how confident you are in English.

Michelle and her mother in Tehran
TEDx Talk by Michelle Barzargan

Iranian Americans in Literature

So many talented authors have written about the American immigrant experience. One of these is Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog, a book that, although I read it 15 years ago, still lives in me, and still shakes me. Written in the author’s car in the dark early morning hours before he began his real job, House of Sand and Fog became a finalist for the 1999 National Book Award in fiction. It also became a movie starring Ben Kingsley, Jennifer Connelly and Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo, who won an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.


American the Bilingual is part of the Lead with Languages campaign of ACTFL — The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.


Music and sounds in this episode, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License, by:

Sounds and Fx

Yle Arkisto — Bombing, air raid alarm, mix

Additional Music



Founder, America the Bilingual Project

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store