AEIS Academic Session at TESOL 2006 - Perspectives on the Adult Immigrant Experience Today

AEIS Academic Session at TESOL 2006, Tampa, Florida

Perspectives on the Adult Immigrant Experience Today

Learning the language is not the only challenge that adult immigrants living in English-speaking countries face. At the AEIS business meeting at TESOL 2005, members discussed various new and ongoing concerns and developments that impact learners’ lives: from systems in the new culture, to policies and the attitudes they reflect, to needs and desires adult immigrant have and are trying to reconcile in their new cultures.  In response to these expressed concerns, the AEIS Academic Session for TESOL 2006 was planned to focus on a variety of challenges impacting the adult immigrant experience today, and the implications those challenges may have for English language learning and instruction. 

A panel of adult English language educators from several different countries and instructional contexts presented as part of the session:

Issues Impacting Adult Immigrants in Australia and New Zealand*
Denise E. Murray, Director, National Centre for English Language Teaching and Research, Macquarie University, Australia

Immigrant Parents and Children in the Education System in Canada

Constantine Ioannu, Continuing Education Officer, International Languages, Education and Projects, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Research on Adult Immigrants Learning English: Issues, Examples, and Needs*
Miriam Burt, Associate Director, Center for Adult English Language Acquisition, Washington, DC

New Developments and Trends Affecting Adult Immigrants and Adult ESL Programs in the U.S.*
Linda Taylor, Director of Assessment Development, CASAS, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Citizenship and Adult Immigrants in the U.S.* (the last few slides of this presentation relate to this topic) 
Lynne Weintraub, Independent educational consultant/author, Jones Library ESL Center, Amherst, Massachusetts

The panel provided a wonderful overview and important current information on the challenges facing adults learning English around the world and reminded all in attendance that learning and instruction does not happen in a vacuum.  As we all work to find ways to support our learners, not only in their language learning, but in their adjustments, integration, and vitality in their new—and in some cases not-so-new but still foreign—contexts.

*Click on the link to view the Powerpoint presentation used in this discussion.

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