Serving as a synthesis of previously published studies and digests, this paper focuses on Southeast Asian refugees in America to address the complex interaction between refugee-learners’ ongoing construction of identity and the ESL environment. Drawing on a wealth of historical and contemporary research on one of America’s most prominent refugee populations, this exploration highlights the traits that constitute Southeast Asians as a unique group of learners due to their shared histories of trauma; social, cultural and religious influences; and ongoing sociocultural and linguistic negotiations of identity during resettlement. As a result, ESL programs and practitioners become critical to both language acquisition and sociocultural support of both Southeast Asian and other refugee-learners. Reflecting this dynamic nature of the learner-program relationship, this paper also offers curriculum- and teacher-specific suggestions for engaging and empowering both Southeast Asians and other refugee populations through ESL instruction. The goal of this survey is to raise awareness of refugee-learner identity and second language acquisition as a means of promoting further dialogue among ESL practitioners.
Perlman, Andrew J.
"Southeast Asian Refugee-Learners: Identities Informing ESL Education and Support,"
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement: Vol. 15
, Article 4.
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol15/iss1/4