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ERIC Number: EJ881371
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-0313-7155
Engaging the Refugee Community of Greater Western Sydney
Naidoo, Loshini
Issues in Educational Research, v20 n1 p47-56 2010
This paper discusses the community engagement program, "Refugee Action Support" (RAS) at the University of Western Sydney. RAS is a partnership program between the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, The NSW Department of Education and Training and the university. The Refugee Action Support program prepares pre-service teachers to teach and work with marginalised students in greater Western Sydney, a region of social and educational disadvantage. RAS enables young, newly arrived refugees in greater Western Sydney to develop socially as well as academically. While refugee students may be keen to engage with the regular academic and social practices within classrooms and schools, they face a dilemma in meeting the language and literacy expectations within particular curriculum content and in relation to particular pedagogical strategies. For teachers working with students in these contexts this poses tensions as they struggle to create conditions in which students can participate in mainstream classrooms, and at the same time meet these students' academic, social and linguistic needs. RAS acts as a catalyst for the rebuilding of a new social and educational world through literacy acculturation. Tutors, equipped with the skills to work with disadvantaged students are more effective in teaching content to diverse students and are more effective in assisting students to demonstrate proficiency in syllabus outcomes because they are able to appreciate the complexities faced by the second language learner in the mainstream high school. The partnership program is very important in ensuring that every person working with the refugee students knows his or her role in order to maximise and accelerate learning for these students.
Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc. 5/202 Coode Street, Como, Western Australia 6152, Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia