Pre-Interview Framework

Interview Questions:

Oral History Questions-Word Doc


  • What country are you originally from?
  • Has your family always lived in this country?
  • What are your memories from home?
  • What were you like as a child? What did you do for fun?
  • Family structure
  • What did your parents do?
  • What is your favorite childhood memory?
  • What were the conditions like when you left?
  • When did you leave? How old were you when you left?
  • As a child, had you heard of the U.S. before? What was your impression of it?


  • Who decided you would come here? Why?
  • Did you want to leave?
  • Why did they choose the U.S. and not somewhere else?
  • What means of transportation did you take?
  • Whom did you travel with?
  • Who did you leave behind?
  • How did you prepare for your trip?
  • How did people treat you when they knew you were leaving for the U.S.?
  • Do you think your life would have been different if you had stayed? How so?


  • Where did you settle when you first came to the U.S.?
  • Who did you stay with?
  • Did you know people from your home country who were also living in this area?
  • What languages did you speak before you came?
  • What was your experience learning English?
  • How did you lifestyle change when you came here?
  • What was your first impression of the U.S.? How has that changed?
  • How were you treated when you first arrived? Has that changed?


  • What languages did you speak when you first came here?
  • What were your hopes for yourself when you came here?
  • Job in California?
  • Move to New York?
  • School/Education?
  • Current Work
  • Do you visit your country often?
  • Do you call/skype/write to country often?
  • What cultural practices from your country do you still practice at home?
  • Do you wish to pass those on to your daughter?

Is there anything else you would like to share/tell me or that I may have left out?