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Stories of Transition: Refugee Youth and Their Transition into U.S. K-12 Education

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This study will look at the education system and how it serves refugee students who have been identified as English Language Learners in the local San Diego area and understand where resources are lacking in assisting refugee students as they aim to both integrate and build social capital. As of the fiscal year 2017 there were 25.9 million displaced people who have to forcibly leave their countries (2018). According to the United Nations Refugee Agency the U.S. receives less than one percent of the refugee population per year. Studies indicate that schooling experiences are important for integration generally because they are the first places where refugee youth will establish themselves upon their arrival (2008, Pg 390) One of the most difficult parts for refugee families is the transition into an entirely new education system for their children. For this purpose, educational integration is critical because it shapes longer term social mobility (2018). The feeling of being displaced then comes with the struggles of possibly having to learn a new language, make new friends, and learn an entirely new culture. Through the sociological lens we will be able to look at the attainability of social capital for refugee youth through one on one interviews with students and administrators from San Diego schools, as well as ethnographic observation at refugee advocacy agencies. Ultimately, how well these students transition into the K-12 education system will determine how well they transition in the k-12 education system. Current educational practices require any student who marks that another language is spoken in the household be tested and placed into ESL classes. ESL programs place students into separate classrooms and spaces where they are ostracized from their peers in order for them to learn a language they may not even need to learn because of their proficiency. ESL programs ultimately cause the transitional stage for refugee students to be delayed in a way that sepa

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Stories of Transition: Refugee Youth and Their Transition into U.S. K-12 Education

This study will look at the education system and how it serves refugee students who have been identified as English Language Learners in the local San Diego area and understand where resources are lacking in assisting refugee students as they aim to both integrate and build social capital. As of the fiscal year 2017 there were 25.9 million displaced people who have to forcibly leave their countries (2018). According to the United Nations Refugee Agency the U.S. receives less than one percent of the refugee population per year. Studies indicate that schooling experiences are important for integration generally because they are the first places where refugee youth will establish themselves upon their arrival (2008, Pg 390) One of the most difficult parts for refugee families is the transition into an entirely new education system for their children. For this purpose, educational integration is critical because it shapes longer term social mobility (2018). The feeling of being displaced then comes with the struggles of possibly having to learn a new language, make new friends, and learn an entirely new culture. Through the sociological lens we will be able to look at the attainability of social capital for refugee youth through one on one interviews with students and administrators from San Diego schools, as well as ethnographic observation at refugee advocacy agencies. Ultimately, how well these students transition into the K-12 education system will determine how well they transition in the k-12 education system. Current educational practices require any student who marks that another language is spoken in the household be tested and placed into ESL classes. ESL programs place students into separate classrooms and spaces where they are ostracized from their peers in order for them to learn a language they may not even need to learn because of their proficiency. ESL programs ultimately cause the transitional stage for refugee students to be delayed in a way that sepa