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Linguistic and academic integration in secondary schools: Perceptions of immigrant students

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Abstract:

In the context of increasing immigration to the regions of Quebec, a society struggling to find a balance between embracing growing ethnocultural diversity and protecting French language and culture, the integration of immigrant students is an important issue in the public school system. The goals of this study are to document how newcomer adolescents move through school programs, to understand their responses to the challenges of integration, and to explore the stance of host society youth toward newcomers. The theoretical orientation of this study views integration as a two-way dialogic process (Ruddick, 2003), from a socioconstructivist perspective (Vygotsky, 1962) where knowledge is co-constructed by both parties involved in dialogic interaction (Bakhtin, 1981). Drawing on Berry's (2006) immigrant youth acculturation strategies of integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization, I explore the strategies adopted by 30 adolescent students recently immigrated to a region of Quebec. In semi-directed interviews after six months and twelve months in the country, students explain their experiences of linguistic and academic integration. A thematic content analysis of the interview verbatim reveals the impacts of discrimination and the importance of a sense of belonging in the process of integration in this secondary school. Students adopted strategies of integration and assimilation more than those of separation and marginalization. Interview data indicate the importance of intercultural education for all secondary school students, both those of immigrant origins and those native to the host society, as well as the need of inclusive discourses within the broader school context.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492558_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Steinbach, Marilyn. "Linguistic and academic integration in secondary schools: Perceptions of immigrant students" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Apr 30, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492558_index.html>

APA Citation:

Steinbach, M. , 2011-04-30 "Linguistic and academic integration in secondary schools: Perceptions of immigrant students" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492558_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In the context of increasing immigration to the regions of Quebec, a society struggling to find a balance between embracing growing ethnocultural diversity and protecting French language and culture, the integration of immigrant students is an important issue in the public school system. The goals of this study are to document how newcomer adolescents move through school programs, to understand their responses to the challenges of integration, and to explore the stance of host society youth toward newcomers. The theoretical orientation of this study views integration as a two-way dialogic process (Ruddick, 2003), from a socioconstructivist perspective (Vygotsky, 1962) where knowledge is co-constructed by both parties involved in dialogic interaction (Bakhtin, 1981). Drawing on Berry's (2006) immigrant youth acculturation strategies of integration, assimilation, separation and marginalization, I explore the strategies adopted by 30 adolescent students recently immigrated to a region of Quebec. In semi-directed interviews after six months and twelve months in the country, students explain their experiences of linguistic and academic integration. A thematic content analysis of the interview verbatim reveals the impacts of discrimination and the importance of a sense of belonging in the process of integration in this secondary school. Students adopted strategies of integration and assimilation more than those of separation and marginalization. Interview data indicate the importance of intercultural education for all secondary school students, both those of immigrant origins and those native to the host society, as well as the need of inclusive discourses within the broader school context.


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