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ERIC Number: EJ1219963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-308X
Learning to Communicate across Language and Culture: Demographic Change, Schools, and Parents in Adult ESL Classes
Dunn Shiffman, Catherine
School Community Journal, v29 n1 p9-38 2019
This article explores communication between parents who are adult English learners (ELs) and K--12 educators in a Virginia region that has seen a rapid increase in the number of immigrant families. Using a social capital lens, communication is viewed as the means through which information between families and educators is exchanged and authentic partnerships that support student learning and well-being become possible. The research explored the extent to which parents enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes prioritized home--school communication, the nature of parent--school communication among adult English learners and educators, and perceived challenges and supports for parent--school communication. Data analyzed were drawn from a multiple-embedded case study over 18 months. Data sources included responses to an adult ESL learner survey; semi-structured interviews with parents, K-12 educators and administrators, and adult ESL instructors; and documents. Study findings revealed parents enrolled in the ESL classes referenced home--school communication, identified challenges and supports particular to different forms of communication (oral, written, electronic), and illuminated the critical role of intermediaries who offer language and cultural interpretation. The study findings provide insights for educators and leaders seeking to foster meaningful, authentic home--school communication in new immigrant destination communities.
Academic Development Institute. 121 North Kickapoo Street, Lincoln, IL 62656. Tel: 1-800-759-1495; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A