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Dr Krisztina Domjan Thesis ARU.pdf (2.18 MB)

Recent immigrant Muslim students in U.S. high schools: a study of sociocultural adjustment and multicultural provision

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posted on 2023-08-30, 13:48 authored by Krisztina Domjan
Rather limited research and few significant field studies have been done on recent immigrant students particularly from the Muslim societies of the Horn of Africa and the Middle East in the American high school context regarding their linguistic, cultural and religious needs. Most research studies suggest that immigrant students receive insufficient provision. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role high schools play in provision addressing the following questions: (1) What kinds of provision have been implemented to support a culturally sensitive education in public high schools in the U.S., and how effective have they been? (2) If any, what was the effect of the reform paper No Child Left Behind? (3) How could the role of teachers as culturally responsive educators be further enhanced regarding first/heritage language and cultural heritage maintenance? (4) Which steps would have to be taken in order to move towards a culturally responsive system? Peterson’s iceberg theory regarding cultures was the guiding theoretical approach which emphasizes the fact that in order to get to know each other’s cultures, one has to closely examine the underlying issues that belong to them as the information available on the surface is simply not sufficient. Qualitative case studies were conducted based on survey questionnaires and interviews among students, parents, ESOL/ELL teachers and mainstream teachers from 6 different high schools. This study has demonstrated that high schools can, in fact, be inviting, well-equipped with adequate ESOL/ELL programs. Findings from field work carried out in Loudoun and Fairfax County public schools in Virginia in 2011, indicate that there is a need to address misconceptions among ESOL/ELL students, their teachers and their parents as to what constitutes as multicultural education environment, and first language maintenance. It is explained how the role of culture-based after school extracurricular clubs like the Muslim Students Association can serve as a bridge between the culture of one’s origin and the host society. While teachers could serve as facilitators, students can become researchers and see relevance of their culture. The result from this investigation through existing literature, stories of individuals and institutions will add to current knowledge on ESOL/ELL provision and offer a deeper understanding of needs from both parties.



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