From Face[t]s of First Language Loss, by Sandra G. Kouritzin (Routledge, 1999), pp. 159-160:
Kuong immigrated to Canada from Vietnam when he was 3 or 4 years old, and first lived near Windsor, Ontario because his family’s sponsor lived in a small town there. He attended school there for Grades 1, 2, and 3, and, because he was instructed in both French and English, believed the two languages were just different dialects until he moved out to British Columbia in Grade 4. He remembers absolutely nothing of his primary school classrooms, although he can remember the walk to school, and the fear that he felt when he heard little children screaming in the principal’s office. He thought maybe he didn’t remember the classrooms because he never understood anything during his primary schooling; his first recollections of instruction are from Grade 4 when he was finally able to understand some of the things the teacher said.
Kuong has an older sibling attending college who is fluent in both Vietnamese and English, and whom he envies, and an older sibling attending a School for the Deaf who signs and lip-reads only in English. His younger brother is in jail; apparently there was some confusion about his date of birth when the family immigrated, so the Canadian authorities believe his 16-year-old brother to be an adult, and have imprisoned him accordingly.
Kuong’s parents don’t speak very much English. Because Kuong got mixed up with drugs and crime when he was still in elementary school, he has been in and out of group homes. Because he has therefore been predominantly in English-speaking environments, he doesn’t speak Vietnamese, yet he also knows that he has serious difficulties in reading, writing, and expressing himself in English. Kuong feels that he will never be gainfully employed in Canada. He doesn’t have the grammatical skill necessary for white-collar work, and he doesn’t have the physical strength (because of heroin addiction) for blue-collar work.
His parents have offered to buy him a fishing boat if he finishes Grade 10 (he was 18 years old at the time of the interviews in 1995), but he doesn’t speak enough Vietnamese to communicate with other fishermen. He thinks he’ll probably only live another 10 years because of his lifestyle and because of how he earns a living; however, he reasons that, if he limited himself to legal employment, he wouldn’t even be able to survive for 10 years.