Homework for refugee middle school students with backgrounds marked by low levels of engagement with English school literacy

Dooley, Karen T. (2009) Homework for refugee middle school students with backgrounds marked by low levels of engagement with English school literacy. Literacy Learning : the Middle Years, 17(3), pp. 28-36.

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Homework presents many challenges for refugees from Africa who are arriving in Australian schools with histories of little, no or severely interrupted schooling. This is evident in the emergence of school- and community-based homework help, clubs and tutoring programs for the students. The aim of this article is to describe the homework support options accessed by eight students from Burundi, Rwanda, Eritrea and Sudan who participated in a study of pedagogy for middle school-aged African refugees, and the views on homework of their parents and teachers. The article shows some tensions between family and school expectations and the dilemmas that arise for teachers in a broader context of public concern about and official policy statement on excessive and repetitive homework. It is argued that application of policy guidelines needs to account for disadvantages that potentially accrue to students who cannot design their own independent study programs. Further, it is suggested that integration of skills and meaning-based pedagogy inherent in recent approaches to literacy education has potential for ensuring that students receive the forms of homework they require.

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ID Code: 28340
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: African refugees, literacy, homework, ESL, middle school
ISSN: 1324-5961
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl. LOTE ESL and TESOL) (130204)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Australian Literacy Educators' Association
Deposited On: 29 Oct 2009 23:07
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2013 02:10

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