Immigration and Education: Issues of Inclusion in Cultural and Linguistic Minority Communities
In Canada, there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of immigrants from various countries from all continents. These immigrants have to negotiate substantial cultural, and often, linguistic discontinuities. With a view to respond to the need for more inclusive and culturally sensitive educational practices, this study first reports on a phenomenological inquiry into immigrants’ experiences and perceptions of social and educational integration in Western Canada. The study then reports on semi-structured interviews conducted with educators who have worked with minority immigrants. Results focus on immigrants' social and educational needs and barriers and on teachers' attitudes and perceptions of their relational work with immigrants, with special attention to the cultural and linguistic discontinuities experienced in educational contexts. Recommendations aim to identify key issues that either hinder or facilitate culturally reciprocal relationships and practices, with special attention to different categories of immigration (humanitarian, meaning refugees; economic, meaning the labor market needs; and social, meaning family reunification).
Keywords: Immigration, Inclusion, School, Culture and Language, International Education
Dr. Nathalie Piquemal
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
Doctoral Student, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba