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Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, v12 n1 p75-93 Spr 1996

A study conducted in the English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) class of 11 Southeast Asian refugee parents of several nationalities and language groups investigated changes in the parents' relationships with their children through four months of the acculturation process, focusing on the strategies the parents used to guide and assist their children in school. Data were gathered through observation of discussion groups and classes. Differences in the cultures, particularly relating to perceptions of education and the family, were taken into consideration. It was found that the parents felt their children did not listen to parents and did not take school seriously; this was noted particularly in teenagers. They also felt the children were using their greater knowledge of American culture to evade academic activities. Parents observed changes in their children's behavior since immigration, including loss of respect for parents and discipline difficulties. Role reversal was sometimes observed. Parents evidenced both empathy and frustration in dealing with their children's education and used a number of strategies to encourage attention to academic achievement. The ESL class provided a forum for discussing these issues and enhance communication capacity. Contains 24 references. (MSE)

Descriptors: Acculturation, Adult Education, Applied Linguistics, English (Second Language), Immigrants, Language Research, Language Role, Linguistic Theory, Parent Child Relationship, Parent Empowerment, Parent Participation, Parent Role, Refugees, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning

Autor: Gordon, Daryl


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