Immigration and Education: Issues of Inclusion in Cultural and Linguistic Minority Communities

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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
Stream: Equity, Social Justice and Social Change; Community, Culture, Globalisation
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Nathalie Piquemal

Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Nathalie Piquemal is an Associate-Professor in the field of intercultural and international education, in the Faculty of Education, at the Univesity of Manitoba. Her work focuses on cultural congruence for minority students and on teachers' and researchers' attitudes when positioned in cross-cultural contexts. Nathalie has worked with Aboriginal communities on ethical and inclusive relational practices in both research and educational contexts. Her current work explores the experiences of immigrants, with special attention to the cultural discontinuity hypothesis and to issues related to intersectionality. She uses phenomenological inquiry to better address issues of marginalized voices, particularly in her more recent work with refugees and war-affected families.

Bathelemy Bolivar

Doctoral Student, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Bathelemy Bolivar is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba. His reseach focuses on international education. He is particulaly interested in worldviews. He recently conducted a phenomenological inquiry into the lives and experiences and immigrants as they negotiate cultural ambiguities.

Ref: L09P0671