Immigrant and refugee perceptions of school, neighborhood, and community.
Clarke, Dorothy M.
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SubjectImmigrant families.; Refugee families.; English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers.
A great deal of research explores language acquisition among English language learners (ELLs) in the United States, yet little explores the educational experiences from the perspectives of ELLs who are refugees or immigrants (Goodwin, 2002, Roxas, 2010). ELLs now represent a growing percentage of students in the United States therefore teachers must be prepared to meet the needs of these new learners. This study provides some insight on the unique perspectives of these refugees and immigrant ELLs and their families, in an attempt to better inform educators about the new faces in their classrooms and the challenges they face in and out of the classroom.This qualitative study, through individual and focus group interviews with refugee adolescent ELLs and refugee parents of ELLs in urban Upstate New York, explores the challenges these people face as newcomers in the United States Findings show learning English is identified as the number one challenge, for students and parents alike, and although students experience challenges, they possess a great optimism and hope for their future. Implications reflect the need to expand our understanding of these new perspectives and provide more opportunities for these diverse voices to be heard in an effort to more equitably serve their varied educational needs. Future research may explore ways to implement more supportive programs for the students and families in schools and the surrounding community.
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