(Un)Common Ground?: English Language Acquisition and Experiences of Exclusion Amongst New Arrival Students in South Australian Primary Schools

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    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Much of the existing research examining the acquisition of English language skills amongst refugees and other newly arrived migrants, both in Australia and internationally, assumes a relatively straightforward relationship between English language proficiency and inclusion within the broader community. This article presents contrary findings from a study of two South Australian primary schools with New Arrivals Programmes (NAPs). By examining data from both a questionnaire administered to teachers and ethnographic observations of children at play in the school yard, the findings presented here suggest that students in NAPs will be differentially invested in learning English according to the degree of exclusion they experience in the school environment and the impact this has upon their perception of the value of learning English as a mode of engagement. In response, the article calls for an approach to education that is situated in global contexts of colonisation and power relations, and where the terms for inclusion of NAP students are mutually negotiated, rather than predetermined.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-290
    Number of pages18
    JournalIdentities-Global Studies in Culture and Power
    Volume18
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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