In the current political climate of the U.S., newcomer immigrant and refugee students seeking an education and a better life for themselves face their most uncertain future yet. Particularly, English learners who have experienced interrupted or limited schooling in their home country and language face challenges in adjusting to a new environment. They deserve differentiated support to succeed both in school and in their new communities. What sets this book apart are the student stories which shed light on the significant resilience they exhibit despite many obstacles faced during all stages of migration. This includes immigration hurdles, housing instability, negative stereotyping and, for some students, the difficult experience of crossing the border as an unaccompanied minor. In Creating Responsive Classroom Communities for Newcomers, readers will hear from educators, counselors and students in a study of 4 high schools across New York State. They will learn what is being done to develop classrooms and schools that can be culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of diverse newcomer students with interrupted schooling. The book shares observations and details of a SIFE-centered English Language Arts curriculum developed with these students' needs in mind, including best practices in both academic instruction and in cultivating a welcoming classroom culture that builds upon student strengths and background knowledge. Readers will come away with a deeper understanding not only of the challenges these students face but also ideas for strategies to better serve them by transforming and improving their own school communities.
About the Author
Lisa Auslander is project director and principal investigator at CUNY Graduate Center