Access and participation in the transition from school to higher education: The role of language

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English language proficiency emerged as a key barrier to the successful participation of refugee background students in both school and higher education. Language proficiency was fundamental to the realization of other key themes identified in the case study. As such, language proficiency is explored in more detail in this chapter. The chapter details the nature of additional language acquisition, and the differences between social and academic language registers, and juxtaposes these language requisites against the diverse educational prior experiences and language competencies of refugee youth. Utilising the narratives of these youth, as well as accounts from teachers and support staff at schools and universities across Australia, this chapter argues that refugee background students require language supports which are cognisant of their complex linguistic profiles and educational histories-rather than the one-size-fits-all generic model of academic and English language support that is more generally provided in educational institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRefugee Background Students Transitioning Into Higher Education
Subtitle of host publicationNavigating Complex Spaces
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789811304200
ISBN (Print)9789811304194
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2018


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