A Qualitative Study of Schooling Experiences of Korean Immigrant High School Students

A Qualitative Study of Schooling Experiences of Korean Immigrant High School Students

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This study explored in-depth Korean immigrant high school students' mainstream schooling experiences in the U.S, with the primary purpose of creating a portrait of their English language learning experiences. This study investigated how Korean immigrant high school students related to the structure of the school, teaching and learning, and the support of family and school they received during their language learning experiences. The researcher conducted a case study examining the transition of four Korean-speaking students from ESL into a mainstream English classroom. Since the educational structure in the U.S. differed greatly from the participants' learning environment in Korea, English was not only a new language but also a significant variable, as they attempted to understand the academic instruction in the classroom while trying to socialize in their new, unfamiliar environment. Findings that emerged from the data indicated that these students experienced diverse acculturation challenges unrelated to language proficiency. They experienced problems because they lacked knowledge about dealing with their school culture. Findings suggested that the schools these students attended provided ESL programs to address linguistic needs and prepare for the transition from ESL to a regular English class. The ESL class helped the students prepare for the mainstream class serving as a safe place where their social and emotional needs, such as interaction, comfort, and a sense of belonging, were met. Students indicated that the ESL class was valuable for them when they moved to mainstream classes. The study also found that the students balanced two cultures, one of mainstream society and one of home and family. Students talked about the challenge of being in 'both worlds', of honoring their Korean culture while learning and adapting to American culture. In addition, students believed in the importance of education and expressed a desire to do well in school and to continue their education at the university level. Implications are for researchers further exploring Korean populations and comparing them to other Asian immigrant groups and for school leaders and policy makers initiating high school reform to affect the outcomes of English language learners.When they came, they did not know the meaning of a noun or verb or about grammar structure. Jesse reported that: JiJ\MS= 9 ... I did not know the meaning of an essay; the word of essay did not exist in my vocabulary. I learned how to write ananbsp;...

Title:A Qualitative Study of Schooling Experiences of Korean Immigrant High School Students
Author:Jung-A. Seo
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007


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