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Beyond language: Immigrant children as committed and strategic learners

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Abstract:

This presentation uses examples of a group of Chinese immigrant children’s strategic learning of the English language in their early childhood centres to illustrate the committed nature of these children as learners.

The presentation draws on the findings of a PhD project on Chinese immigrant children’s English language learning experience in New Zealand early childhood centres. Through child observations, child interviews and interviews with the children’s teachers and their parents, this research obtained evidence about the children’s strategic engagement with learning of a new language. The adoption of a phenomenological approach in research theorized the children’s intentionality and reflexivity. The children’s experience with the English language became of window into their motivation and learning attitudes.

It is argued in this presentation that the use of a language, an observable behaviour of the children, reflects their underlying desires for settlement in a learning setting. An investigation into children’s experiences with a new language has the potential to provide insights into their beliefs and expectations. Findings are discussed in terms of the behaviours that the children displayed when learning or using English, which included silence, private speech, non-verbal communication, verbal communication, new language invention and seeking teacher attention. The data demonstrate that the children adopted a range of strategies in order to reconcile their commitment to settle in a learning setting, with the opportunities provided to them in that setting. The immigrant children’s learning behaviours reveal a rich contest over how they can be supported in early childhood environments. Learning viewed as strategic experience has as its central defining characteristics a process in which immigrant children make responses to the possibilities or constraints stemming from their learning environments.
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Association:
Name: Children and Childhoods Research Symposium
URL:
http://www.iec.mq.edu.au


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438227_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Guo, Karen Liang. "Beyond language: Immigrant children as committed and strategic learners" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, Sep 24, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438227_index.html>

APA Citation:

Guo, K. , 2010-09-24 "Beyond language: Immigrant children as committed and strategic learners" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438227_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This presentation uses examples of a group of Chinese immigrant children’s strategic learning of the English language in their early childhood centres to illustrate the committed nature of these children as learners.

The presentation draws on the findings of a PhD project on Chinese immigrant children’s English language learning experience in New Zealand early childhood centres. Through child observations, child interviews and interviews with the children’s teachers and their parents, this research obtained evidence about the children’s strategic engagement with learning of a new language. The adoption of a phenomenological approach in research theorized the children’s intentionality and reflexivity. The children’s experience with the English language became of window into their motivation and learning attitudes.

It is argued in this presentation that the use of a language, an observable behaviour of the children, reflects their underlying desires for settlement in a learning setting. An investigation into children’s experiences with a new language has the potential to provide insights into their beliefs and expectations. Findings are discussed in terms of the behaviours that the children displayed when learning or using English, which included silence, private speech, non-verbal communication, verbal communication, new language invention and seeking teacher attention. The data demonstrate that the children adopted a range of strategies in order to reconcile their commitment to settle in a learning setting, with the opportunities provided to them in that setting. The immigrant children’s learning behaviours reveal a rich contest over how they can be supported in early childhood environments. Learning viewed as strategic experience has as its central defining characteristics a process in which immigrant children make responses to the possibilities or constraints stemming from their learning environments.


Similar Titles:
Personal Language Preferences and Linguistic Adaptation of Spanish-speaking Children of Immigrants

Organizing instruction in new immigrant destinations: Leadership and infrastructure to support English Language Learners

Gender Differences in Bilingualism among Latino/a Children of Immigrants: The Impacts of Gender, Language, and Family Interaction on Academic Achievement


 
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