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Asian High School Newcomer Cross- Cultural Adjustment: How Counsellor’s Can Help Michael LeBlanc FHS/UNB.

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Presentation on theme: "Asian High School Newcomer Cross- Cultural Adjustment: How Counsellor’s Can Help Michael LeBlanc FHS/UNB."— Presentation transcript:

1 Asian High School Newcomer Cross- Cultural Adjustment: How Counsellor’s Can Help Michael LeBlanc FHS/UNB

2 Why Me? High school guidance counsellor working with many newcomers and immigrants High school guidance counsellor working with many newcomers and immigrants Lived and worked in South Korea from Lived and worked in South Korea from Research focus on newcomer adjustment and multicultural education Research focus on newcomer adjustment and multicultural education

3 Why you? What brings you here? What brings you here?

4 Why this topic? Canadian newcomer adjustment experience relatively unknown; Korean and Chinese groups are heterogeneous Large percentage of newcomers in many high schools in Canada are Korean and Chinese Schools and communities unprepared for increase in newcomer population Current school programs inadequate for new diverse school reality (Walqui, 2000) Counsellors, as leaders in systemic change, face much responsibility for school adjustment of newcomers

5 Five Objectives To review the results of my qualitative research To review the results of my qualitative research To examine current literature of Korean and Chinese adolescent newcomers To examine current literature of Korean and Chinese adolescent newcomers To explore current school support practices To explore current school support practices To offer recommendations for counsellors, particularly in the school environment To offer recommendations for counsellors, particularly in the school environment To discuss your experiences with this population To discuss your experiences with this population

6 Background Statistics 220,000 newcomers annually in Canada (CIC, 2007) 220,000 newcomers annually in Canada (CIC, 2007) 20% of Canadian population ‘minority’ in 8 years 20% of Canadian population ‘minority’ in 8 years Number of new immigrants in Canada: Number of new immigrants in Canada: Chinese - #1; Korean - #5 National increase in K and C immigrants – 10% National increase in K and C immigrants – 10% New Brunswick increase in K and C immigrants – 50% New Brunswick increase in K and C immigrants – 50% Number of new Korean families in Fredericton since 2002 – approximately 200 Number of new Korean families in Fredericton since 2002 – approximately 200 Number of Chinese families in Fredericton – approximately 200 Number of Chinese families in Fredericton – approximately 200 Number of new Chinese and Korean students enrolled at Fredericton High School since 2003 – approximately 125 Number of new Chinese and Korean students enrolled at Fredericton High School since 2003 – approximately 125

7 What makes Chinese and Korean adolescent newcomers unique  Canadian education one of main reasons for coming (Confucian influence)  Relief from national exam system…  Seldom academic gaps – usually opposite  Strong parental support – often astronaut families  Parents SES, education level  Societal expectations – ‘Model Minority’  Collectivism vs. Individualism  Within group pressures and obligations  Large enclaves  Large/sudden increase in population  Cultural Language ‘fit’

8 Traditional Asian Values Traditional Western Values CollectivityIndividualism Group Identity Achievement of goals set by others Obligations to group Autonomy Achievement of individual’s goals Trained to be individuals Duty and Obligation Rights and Privilege Relational responsibility Duty to others Motivation based on obligations Responsibility to self Personal rights Motivation based on feelings HierarchyEquality Submissive to authority Emphasis on position in relationships Accepts rules/Politeness Dislike for rules/Control Play down superiority/inferiority Questions authority DeferenceSelf-Assertion Passivity and Yieldedness Adherence to social politeness Emphasis on self effacement Aggressive and expressive Assertive Open and accessible to others Adapted from Lee Kim, 2001

9 The Immigration Experience for High School-Aged Newcomers Adjustment Stress Adjustment Stress Settlement Tasks Settlement Tasks Language Learning Language Learning Cultural Learning Cultural Learning Interpersonal Relationships Interpersonal Relationships Academics Academics Community Contact Community Contact Adolescent Identity Development Adolescent Identity Development

10 “The adjustment experiences of high school-aged Korean and Chinese newcomers”: Research Design  Qualitative/Phenomenological - understanding the complex and dynamic experience  Four Korean, two Chinese high school students (15/16 yrs old, 3 male, 3 female)  Semi-structured interviews (45-65 minutes)  In Canada between 6 months and 3 years

11 What did these six interviewees talk about?

12 Identified Theme Structure 1. Initial Adjustment Experience 1. Initial Adjustment Experience Impressions upon Arrival Impressions upon Arrival Culture Culture 2. Home Experience 2. Home Experience Settlement Settlement Communication and Language Acquisition Communication and Language Acquisition Support Support 3. School Experience 3. School Experience Communication and Language Acquisition Communication and Language Acquisition Companionship Companionship National Exam Relief and Volunteer Activities National Exam Relief and Volunteer Activities Academics Academics Support Support 4. Community Experience 4. Community Experience Korean/Chinese Community Support and Activities Korean/Chinese Community Support and Activities 5. Recommendations for Newcomers 5. Recommendations for Newcomers

13 Findings: Reactions upon arrival  Size of Fredericton a surprise  All spent first 4-7 days sequestered in home/hotel “[We] just stayed in some family hotel and communicated with the Chinese people. We couldn’t learn anything about Canada…. You know, in the first few days I didn’t communicate with anybody” (H, interview)

14 Findings: Growing population an issue  Education/language learning main reasons for immigrating “I didn’t know New Brunswick. I just knew Vancouver, Toronto, big cities…there were not very much Korean people here – two years ago. But, now, there is many people here. If there are many Korean students there’s no chance to speak English. My parents are worried about when Korean students are here” (Y, interview)

15 Findings: Home language  Most Korean and Chinese participants spoke only national language (L1) at home  All felt it negatively affected ELL, but also felt it was a stress relief to speak national language at home: “I just speak without any thinking; it just comes out” (J, interview)

16 Findings: Home support 1 on own (guardians) 1 on own (guardians) 3 astronaut families 3 astronaut families 2 with both parents 2 with both parents

17 Findings: School  Language acquisition and making ‘Canadian’ friends two main adjustment difficulties “They’re the [main] problems …English and making friends. If I spoke English very well I could make many friends. I would try if I could speak English very well. I’m trying now, too, but it’s hard” (Y, interview).

18 Findings: Language  Learning English: A main reason for coming to Canada  Korean students spoke mostly Korean with Korean friends  Chinese students spoke only English with Chinese friends  5/6 had negative views of their English language competency

19 Findings: Companionship  All struggled to make solid Canadian-born friends; some still searching after 2 years… “…I want Canadian friends more than Korean friends. But, Korean friends are important for me because we think the same. But I need Canadian friends for English and that’s why I came here…but I couldn’t…that’s the problem.” (Y, interview)

20 Findings: Extra-time  Relief felt from not writing national university-entrance exams  5/6 were very excited to have time for extra-curricular activities  Most had not felt comfortable joining school clubs

21 Findings: Academics  All expected to reach ‘pre- Canada’ grades immediately  Felt pressure to perform from parents  Felt pressure to ‘escape’ EAL quickly

22 Findings: Community  5/6 actively involved in Korean/Chinese communities  They help them ‘remember who they are’  Acculturation

23 Discussion: What does this research mean for Korean and Chinese adolescent newcomers?  Immediate social/cultural support  Connections to potential friends  Comprehensive ELL program  Connections to ethnic community  Extra-curricular info/support  Individualized educational/academic program  Parental involvement/contact/info  Reasonable language/academic expectations  Encourage native language (L1) in home  School staff/student information  Classroom teacher support (Content-based EAL)

24 What are the current newcomer programming practices in schools?  Lack of leadership and direction from top  Lack of detailed newcomer adjustment plan  Language learning focus (EAL classes, tutoring) – “ASAP”  Immediate immersion in ‘typical’ new ‘fluent-in- English’ student schedule  Using native language (L1) is harmful when learning English (L2)  Lack of understanding of/info for acculturation, psychological/cultural adjustment, social and academic needs for parents, teachers and students  New Korean and Chinese students will ‘find their way’  Segregation/under-use of knowledgeable EAL teachers/staff  New Korean and Chinese students should conform to current system – melting pot approach

25 What to do? 1.Systemic Change 2. Leadership 3. Advocacy

26 Systemic Change Counsellors contact school, district, provincial guidance coordinators for support/direction Work with school staff/admin to establish a comprehensive, specific and long/short term goal-oriented newcomer programme EAL classes with multiple levels – part of English or Second Language Departments

27 Leadership Leadership Become the expert in multicultural issues Become the expert in multicultural issues Develop a detailed action plan: ELL, social, adjustment, extra-curricular, academic, community, home, info sessions, acceptance Develop a detailed action plan: ELL, social, adjustment, extra-curricular, academic, community, home, info sessions, acceptance Ensure staff understand the role of EAL classes Ensure staff understand the role of EAL classes Establish school ties with local multicultural associations: Korean association and Chinese association (settlement, cultural training, translating) Establish school ties with local multicultural associations: Korean association and Chinese association (settlement, cultural training, translating) Teach staff/students about cultural adjustment and related issues (staff meeting, PD) Teach staff/students about cultural adjustment and related issues (staff meeting, PD) Collect Data: Questionnaires, interviews, database, to determine needs/services and track #’s Collect Data: Questionnaires, interviews, database, to determine needs/services and track #’s Support classroom teacher with info on differentiation and content-based instructional methods Support classroom teacher with info on differentiation and content-based instructional methods

28 Advocacy Establish atmosphere of acceptance, equity and access that honours diversity Ensure counsellor visibility/recognition Counsellor/EAL staff collaboration Contact with English = Quality over Quantity Encourage newcomer parental involvement Establish an ‘International Student’s Association’, ‘Newcomer Association’, or equivalent Hold information meetings for BOTH newcomer students and their parents each semester Consider group ‘interventions’ to allow student to ‘save face’ Introduce newcomers to peers through ‘Ambassador’s Club’, ‘Buddy Club’, or ‘Peer Mentors’: 1 st week key Have teachers set up ‘buddy’ for each class Ensure comprehensive introduction to extra- curricular activity list and how to join

29 Counselling Process Issues with High School-Aged Newcomers Low counsellor self-efficacy in area Low counsellor self-efficacy in area Underutilization or lack of connection? Underutilization or lack of connection? Communication barriers Communication barriers Cultural stereotyping Cultural stereotyping ID’ing source of issue amongst large list of possibilities ID’ing source of issue amongst large list of possibilities Directive or non-directive? Directive or non-directive?

30 Counselling Strategies Clarify needs/counselling process Clarify needs/counselling process Acknowledge cultural differences Acknowledge cultural differences Determine decision maker? (Brown, 2006) Determine decision maker? (Brown, 2006) Adjusting communicative style Adjusting communicative style Adjust for counselling expectations of students Adjust for counselling expectations of students

31 Thank you very much! Michael LeBlanc Fredericton High School University of New Brunswick


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