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TESL Canada Journal, v34 n1 p51-71 2016

This article addresses the complex academic and social adjustment issues of newcomer youth of refugee background at a high school in Newfoundland and Labrador, a province where the newcomer population is small but the percentage of refugees in relation to all newcomers is high. Data for this qualitative study include documents from educational authorities and ESL teachers, field notes of classroom observations, qualitative survey questionnaires from 15 newcomer students, and interviews with 6 students of refugee background and 3 teachers. We found that these refugee youth were challenged due not only to language difficulties and educational gaps, but also to differences in educational systems, school cultures, and student-teacher dynamics between their previous schooling and what they encountered in Newfoundland. They had to cope with social isolation and different practices of body language, dress code, personal hygiene, and sexual orientation. The study also identified inadequacies in the current curriculum, teacher in-service education, and diversity initiatives in the school system. [Note: The issue number (11) shown on this PDF is incorrect. The correct citation is v34 n1.]

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, High School Students, Refugees, Student Adjustment, Social Adjustment, Qualitative Research, Student Surveys, Observation, School Culture, Teacher Student Relationship, Social Isolation, Nonverbal Communication, Hygiene, Dress Codes, Sexual Orientation, English Language Learners, Discipline, School Policy, Credits, Peer Relationship

TESL Canada Federation. 408-4370 Dominion Street, Burnaby, BC V5G 4L7, Canada. Tel: 604-298-0312; Fax: 604-298-0372; e-mail: admin[at]; Web site:

Autor: Li, Xuemei; Grineva, Marina


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