“Now my hope is clear for building my future”: How two young refugees build social connectedness
This chapter describes some findings from an ethnographic study of the relationship between language training and settlement success. Using a social practices perspective, I describe how two young, male refugees build social connectedness. I show how social networks provide each young man with an important social resource and act as mediators of literacy and culture. I use the notion of in-betweenness to interpret their experience of coming to terms with the past, adjusting to a new culture, learning a new language and making sense of their lives in their new country. I then describe some practices that support their progress towards oral and literate proficiency in English. Finally, I suggest that teachers have much to gain from ethnographic studies that can help them to understand the experience of refugee learners more deeply and elicit rich funds of knowledge that can be drawn upon to support learners' educational and literate success.
Language, culture and social connectedness
Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics