The role of language in academic and social transition of haitian children and their parents to urban U.S. Schools

Cory A. Buxton, Okhee Lee, Margarette Mahotiere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explores the role that language plays in the academic and social transition of Haitian children and parents to urban U.S. schools across multiple school settings, demographic groups, and languages. Semistructured individual interviews and focus groups were conducted with groups of 12 Haitian American teachers, 12 Haitian parents of grade school children, and 12 Haitian students who had gone to school both in Haiti and in the US. Using the theoretical constructs of linguistic identity and actor networks, we describe three themes that emerged from our analysis of language use: (1) an affinity for multiple languages, (2) a desire to be multicultural, and (3) a responsibility to help others in the community. These themes point to potent bridges for aiding Haitian students as they adapt to urban U.S. schools, as well as indicating sources of potential linguistic and cultural conflict.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-74
Number of pages28
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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