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Slavic -speaking young adult refugees' experiences of acculturation in the Midwest United States: A multiple case study

Marat E Sanatullov, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

According to 1990 census data, one of every six persons ages 5–20 in the United States was either foreign-born or had one or two foreign parents (Rong & Preissle, 1995). The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study was to explore Slavic-speaking young adult refugees' perceptions of their acculturation in the Midwest United States. The participants came to the Midwest as child refugees with their families for religious reasons from Byelorussia, Ukraine, and Russia. All participants immigrated between the ages of 10–21 and between the years 1986 and 2000. They studied in U.S. schools. Using face-to-face and semi-structured interviews, observations and the QSR NVivo software program, data was collected and analyzed. Four themes and sixteen sub-themes were identified and discussed. Findings revealed that age, language ability and personal priorities of individuals, previous language background and exposure impact an individual's language learning. The following factors affected the participants' adjustment to a new country: access to education; language proficiency; cultural differences; school pressures; and a decrease of immigrant parents' authority in the new country. Recommendations based on the findings of the study include how schools and agencies can better serve refuges and immigrants, how U.S. teachers need to understand how to optimize language learning for second language learners based on age (acquisition versus learning) and the need to work with immigrant parents with regards to education opportunities. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies|Language, General|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Sanatullov, Marat E, "Slavic -speaking young adult refugees' experiences of acculturation in the Midwest United States: A multiple case study" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3159559.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3159559

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