We are happy to share with you this week’s featured article from the ProLiteracy research journal, Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy. The journal consists of the latest adult education industry research; statistics on workforce development, English as a second language education, and immigration-related topics in the field; best practices in adult literacy and numeracy instruction; and more. Access the first issue of the full journal here.
In her journal article, Showing Up for Immigrant Learners (and Each Other), Andy Nash dives into ways programs and classrooms can develop and demonstrate safe learning environments. Immigrants can feel intimidated and fearful and sometimes find it difficult to seek comfort in their education.
Here is an excerpt from the article. To read the full article, click here.
We are witnessing a mounting campaign in this country to blame immigrants and refugees for our economic insecurity, rampant violent crime, and a diminished social safety net. Under this banner, our government is using immigration policy to turn away asylum seekers and refugees, separate children from parents, and threaten the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) of communities that have lived in the United States for a generation and consider this their home.
Turning us against our immigrant neighbors is not a new trend. It is an example of a time-tested divide-and-conquer strategy that is quite effective at redirecting legitimate grievances (low wages, unaffordable health care, etc.) away from the powerful who benefit and toward an easily identifiable (by accent or skin color) “other.” And the result of this targeting, as Larotta notes in her piece, “Immigrants Learning English in a Time of Anti-Immigrant Sentiment,” is that many immigrant groups are reporting increased incidents of intimidation and harassment, and many English language learners who come to our programs describe living in fear.
Educators everywhere are trying to figure out how to address this new reality – how to make sure that all students feel safe and able to learn, how to encourage critical thinking about daily events, and how to break down the manufactured fear of black and brown immigrants that keeps us from coming together to build alliances. None of us wants to be the frog in the proverbial pot that waits as the temperature slowly rises until it’s too late to do anything.