Language Education Policy and the Teacher Perceived Identities of Displaced Immigrant and Refugee Children in the Diaspora
How do teachers perceive displaced and refugee students? What are teachers’ belief systems regarding such populations? We propose to survey and interview teachers of predominantly Middle Eastern displaced and refugee students, with a goal of assessing teachers’ intercultural competence. We seek to discover what information teachers have regarding the process of students’ cultural integration and identity formation in the context of the classroom, and what teachers require to address students’ needs. We focus on a U.S.-European comparison of language education policies for integration, inclusion, or cultural assimilation into the host societies, which are often media-dominated, politically hostile, ‘racist’, and discriminatory. We will evaluate teacher perceptions and anecdotes about their practices and students’ experiences for potential implications on students’ identity formation. Our critical cross-cultural analysis may inform policy regarding student integration and teacher professional development. From an ecolinguistic and critical race framework, these major relocations of populations with their ostracized knowledge systems and misperceived identities can lead to culture and language attrition in violation of linguistic human rights and positive identity formation. Our intercultural assessment may help language education policy and especially teacher education move toward deeper teaching and learning that values home cultures, linguistic and cultural diversity; thus contributing to social justice.
Timing: September 1, 2017–August, 31, 2020.
Duration: 36 months