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Citizenship Resources

CAELA has compiled a list of print, online, and audiovisual resources that teachers can consult as they assist adult immigrants to prepare for the natualization process and the citizenship examination.

There is a wealth of material available for citizenship preparation and more is being produced all the time. Teachers need to investigate a variety of materials and see which suit the needs of the learners in their classes. The materials below include some of popular and well-regarded materials for teachers and learners, but the list is not exhaustive. Because there are frequent changes to the requirements for citizenship, only resources since 1993 have been included. If you have favorites that are not listed here, please contact Lynda Terrill ( at the National Center for ESL Literacy Education.

CAELA Resources

Citizenship education for immigrants. (annotated bibliography, 2001-available in paper copy only from CAELA) This bibliography identifies documents pertinent to citizenship education in the ERIC database.

Citizenship preparation for adult ESL learners. (Digest, 1997) This digest describes two basic approaches used by teachers in citizenship preparation classes.

Teacher Print Resources

Becker, Aliza.(1993). Building bridges: A resource guide on citizenship.(Available from Curriculum Publications Clearinghouse, Western Illinois University, HH46, Macomb IL 61455; 1-800-322-3905) Chicago: Travelers and Immigration Aid ( ERIC No.ED 373 589) Provides guidance for developing an efficient and effective programming process for immigrants planning to become naturalized.

Becker, A. (2000) Citizenship for refugee elders: Issues and options in test preparation. Washington, DC: Catholic Legal Immigration Network (Available from CLINIC,1-202-635-2556 or (ERIC No. ED 801 403)Offers a comprehensive and informative look about particular issues affecting refugee elders preparing for citizenship.

Becker, A. (4th edition, 2006) Citizenship for us: A handbook on naturalization & citizenship. Washington, DC: Catholic Legal Immigration Network (Available from CLINIC, 202-635-2556 or Provides current, comprehensive, and easy-to-understand information about all aspects of the naturalization process including the latest changes in forms and procedures.
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (2000). Citizenship at risk: New obstacles to naturalization. Washington, DC: Author. (Available from CLINIC, 1-200-635-2556) (ERIC No. ED 801 446) Provides information and strategies for those who are helping immigrants find their way through the complex naturalization process.

Garretson, K.. (1997) The City University of New York resource guide: Becoming a citizen. New York, NY: City University of New York. (ERIC No. ED 413 800) Draws on a variety of sources and materials to develop a 50-hour curriculum for preparing immigrants to apply for and gain U.S. citizenship.

Mitchell, E. (1998). Citizenship: A guide to good teaching. Tacoma, WA: Tacoma Community House Training Project. (ERIC No. ED 445 555) Offers practical advice on instruction and clearly describes many activities where citizenship content supports English language learning.

National Immigration Forum. (2001) Immigration policy handbook 2000. Washington,DC: Author. (1-200-544-0004 for ordering information) Summarizes recent information and provides an analysis of immigration policy.

Wolf, L. A., and Others.(1998). Handbook for citizenship programs. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Literacy Council.( ERIC No. ED 419 435) Compiles instructional and legal materials for practitioners and programs to use in developing citizenship programs.

Learner Textbooks

Becker A.. & Edwards, L. (1995). Citizenship now: A guide for naturalization. Contemporary Books. Offers comprehensive information about citizenship history and government for intermediate-level learners.

Becker, A. (with Siegel, M.A.). (2000). Entry into citizenship. McGraw-Hill/Contemporary. Provides low-intermediate learners with step-by step practice related to history and the naturalization process.

Bliss, B. & Molinsky, S. (3rd edition, 2002). Voices of freedom: English and civics for the U.S. Citizenship Exam. Prentice Hall.(with audio tape) Includes practice interviewing, history, and grammar points for high-beginning levels learners.

Kimmel, R., & Lubiner, A. (1996). Citizenship made simple: An easy to read guide to the U.S. citizenship process. Chester, NJ: Next Decade.

Written for high-intermediate and advanced learners; includes the entire text of the Declaration of Independence and The U.S. Constitution.

Magy, R. (1996). U.S. citizen, yes: Interactive citizenship preparation. Heinle & Heinle. Provides substantive readings and comunicative activites for intermediate-level learners.

Steck-Vaughn. (2002). Preparation for citizenship. Austin, TX: Author. For low-intermediate learners, includes a unit on on U.S. celebrations as well as history and government.

Weintraub, L. (1998). Citizenship: Passing the test. New Readers Press.(with audio and video tape)

Provides beginning-level learners with appropriate activities and practice.

Online Resources

There are many online sources of information for adults seeking citizenship as well as for the teachers and volunteers who may assist them. However, many Web sites contain complex language that may be difficult for English language learners. As with all content information, teachers need to preview materials carefully remembering the learners' goals, needs, and skill levels.

Citizenship Publications and Materials From the Adult Learning Resource Center provides information about technical assistance for teachers particularly related to citzenship.

Citizenship pages of the Minnesota Literacy Council Web site Offers information such as a list of INS interview question, a list of dictation sentences that have been used in past INS interviews, and the benefits of becoming a U.S. citizen; other information is geared specifically to immigrants living in Minnesota.

National Immigration Forum Provides a large and diverse body of information on immigration and discusses such issues as race and ethnic relations; has a pro-immigrant, advocacy stance. Immigration Basics 2005 is available for download on this site.

Study for the U.S. Citizenship Test Pages Requires a registration fee for people who don't live in Minnesota, but contains worthwhile practice exercises. (A CD is available for sale to those who don't have good access to the World Wide Web)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Homepage Provides access to information and forms related to the naturalization process. This Web site also contains a section on Civics and Citizenship Study Materials. To access questions and answers for a pilot of the new naturalization examination, click here.

The VoteBook Citizenship Test Provides a short online quiz about American history and government.

Audio and Video Resources

Citizenship Teaching Techniques. Adult Learning Resource Center. (2000). Video tape and video viewers' guide are available from Curriculum Press Clearinghouse at (800)-322-3905. Demonstrates methods of teaching dictation skills for the INS citizenship test and teaching interview skills using the N-400.

The INS interview. J. Weinberg. (1997). Audio tape available from Video Language Products, P.O. Box 641, South Pasadena, CA 91031-0641. Contains 175 answers to questions on American history and government as well as miscellaneous personal information questions that might be asked in the INS interview.

The INS interview: Will they pass the test? (1996). Video tape available from Miller Educational Materials, Inc., 3030 Surry St., Los Angeles, CA 90027. (800) 636-4375. Is a companion to the Citizenship: Passing the test materials (see Learner Textbooks above). This resource is also available through New Readers Press.

Road to Citizenship: Multimedia Training for U.S Citizenshp CD-ROM. This resource includes nine sections including "Am I qualifed for Citizenship?","Citizenship Lessons", and "Practicing English." The CD-ROM and ancillary materials are available through Sunburst Media for Langauge Learners and New Readers Press.

U.S. citizenship: A dream come true.(1995). Video tape available from Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) of Southern California. (213) 748-2022, ext. 47. Gives information about the naturalization process.

National and Regional Organizations

Center for Civic Education A nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation; supports the continued development of informed and responsible civic participation in the American democracy; many activities concentrate on K-12 learners and teachers.

Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc (CLINIC) A subsidiary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; has a mission to welcome, support, and defend legal immigrants to the United States.

Cultural Orientation Resource (COR) Center Provides print and online resources for programs that assist refugees in the United States and overseas; includes extensive links that may be useful to both practitioners and adult English language learners.

Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) Provides an array of programs for immigrants including assistance related to the naturalization process.

National Immigration Forum Maintains the United States' tradition as a nation of immigrants and advocates for public policies that welcome and benefit immigrants and refugees.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Government homepage for the naturalization process,contains links to other sections of the Web site as well as providing news germane to immigration issues.