As the population of language minority families significantly increases in our
nation (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2002), schools are trying to meet the
needs of a growing number of students with limited English skills. This qualitative
research study examined the types of academic, social, and linguistic support currently
available to immigrant school-aged children and their families as they enter into a small
mid-western community in the United States.
The forty-nine participants in this study included immigrant parents, school staff,
and community members, who shared insight into the types of support most needed and
helpful for newcomer students and their families. Using grounded theory methods of
research, three major themes emerged and were used to create a model for support. Each
of the three levels of support includes a précis of ideas for assisting schools, communities
and families, as they develop ways to support newcomer students in their academic,
linguistic, and socio-cultural development.
Major findings of this study include: a.) the need for increased communication
and access to services, b.) the need for more opportunities to learn English, and c.) the
importance of maintaining native language skills and culture as an asset to the
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2009. Major: Education, Curriculum and Instruction. Advisor: Martha Bigelow, PhD. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 166 pages, appendices A-E.
Tahtinen, Sarah Ellen.
A model for suppport: meeting the needs of English language learners in a small community..
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