This article analyzes how Southeast Asian refugee high school students negotiated “smartness” and language learning at a low-performing, urban high school in the U.S. southeast. Findings are drawn from a year-long qualitative study that examined the identities of refugee students from Vietnam’s Central Highlands. The conceptual framework is built on sociocultural theories of identity and language learning (Bourdieu, 1991; Holland, Skinner, Lachicotte & Cain, 1998) and illuminates the contextual and relational nature of students’ identity articulation in school. Findings underscore the ways in which racialized discourses perpetuated by teachers and peers simultaneously positioned them as model minorities and undermined their learning, and self-identities. Implications for policy and practices, as well as theoretical perspectives that deepen understandings of refugee identity and performance in school are proposed.
"Learning English and "Smartness": Refugee Students Negotiate Language, Reception, and Ability in School,"
Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement: Vol. 8
, Article 1.
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jsaaea/vol8/iss1/1