This article discusses the experiences of four young adult Byelorussian, Russian, and Ukrainian refugees concerning their education and English language learning in the Midwestern United States. Findings reveal that the participants’ schooling in their native country and the United States, as well as the process of learning a new language, greatly affected their acculturation in the host country. In their native country, the focus on discipline, the high academic expectations, and the teacher authority were perceived by the participants as promoting respect for teachers and adults and enhancing student learning. The participants’ experiences in the U.S. public schools were characterized by the helpfulness of teachers, the lack of discipline, and the importance placed by immigrant parents on their children’s education. Age, motivation, language exposure, language learning ability, and language learning style impacted participants’ English language acquisition and education, as well as their overall acculturation, in the United States.
|Keywords:||English Language Learning, Language Minority Students, Immigrant Education, Former Soviet Union, Christian Refugees, Slavic Diaspora|
Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, Cambridge, MA, USA
School of Education and Professional Studies, Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Potsdam, PA, USA
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