This course examines the experience of students in grades K-12 who are immigrants or refugees (or their relatives) living in urban communities, particularly within the Twin Cities. The historical and contemporary push and/or pull factors that contributed to families from various countries and cultures recently coming to the United States will be examined. Important similarities and differences between the experiences and status of immigrants and refugees will also be studied. Particular challenges encountered within the U.S. will be explored, as well as examples of resiliency, achievement, and community resources. Students will gain the understanding of different cultural practices; benefits of bilingual education; how the larger community and the socio-cultural framework shape communication with parents; and how the urban environment conditions may influence learning. Critical issues in urban multilingual immigrant and refugee communities will be discussed. Graduate-level research and theoretical perspectives are part of the expectations.
- Analyze the sociolinguistic dynamics of the cultures of the United States.
- Compare and contrast the status, experiences, struggles and achievements of immigrants and refugees.
- Explain the reasons why various immigrant and refugee groups living in the Twin Cities came to the U.S. and the Twin Cities.
- Learn about the history , culture, geography and politics of the original homes countries of various immigrants and refugee communities.
- Understand the cultural pluralism in the United States; and how cultural and social differences are reflected.
- Understand the efforts by elders to teach youth about their first language and culture.
- investigate how the cultural, linguistic, Ethnic, regional, and gender differences affect second language instruction and the communication in the classroom.