The most significant challenge for the minority immigrant is learning a new language. They arrive in a new culture and community hoping to master English quickly in order to achieve their academic and career goals. However, many immigrants have mentioned general barriers resulting from being unable to communicate with peers outside their cultural and linguistic group. Recent research has identified several cognitive variables such as vocabulary, reading aloud, and grammatical judgment related to second-language learning in immigrants; however, little attention was given to sociocultural factors such as acculturation, motivation, and cultural learning because learning a language is a necessary aspect of being socialized into a particular culture. This chapter reviews research of sociocultural models in relation to second-language learning of immigrant youth in Canada. We address this paradigm for research by incorporating both acculturation and sociolinguistic approaches, as well as more traditional cognitive-linguistic approaches, to models of second-language learning in immigrants.
Part of the book: People's Movements in the 21st Century