Immigrant Students as Learners and Teachers: Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn

By Myra Goldschmidt and Norma Notzold.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes a pedagogical approach to provide access to higher education for immigrant students. At Pennsylvania State University, Delaware County, the cleavage between the two cultures of our immigrant students is especially problematic because we are a commuter campus: These students move back and forth along a cultural continuum on a daily basis, so exposure to academic writing is usually limited to their time in class. For some of our immigrant students, a lack of academic writing proficiency ultimately becomes the barrier that prevents them from completing their higher education. This chapter discusses a six-credit adult literacy and service-learning course, the Academic Community Connection, which serves to ‘save’ the academic career of immigrant students by offering them one last opportunity to learn academic writing – they must teach writing to community members; therefore, they must learn how to write.

Keywords: Immigrant Students, Adult Literacy, Service Learning

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.19-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 715.467KB).

Dr. Myra Goldschmidt

Associate Professor, English/Linguistics Department, Pennsylvania State University, Media, PA, USA

As a sociolinguist, I focus both my research and teaching on language studies and language education. In my role as a researcher, I describe the intricacies of language use so that practitioners can impart this information to their students. The thrust of my research has been on the teaching of immigrant students at the university level and the implications associated with teaching this population of students. Another research interest of mine is language and identity, especially in post-apartheid South Africa. In my role as a teacher, I designed and developed an interdisciplinary academic program for undergraduate immigrant students. This program has become these students' reference point for American culture, much as their homes and communities are reference points for their native cultures. My research has been published in several books and journals, including The Journal of Black Studies, College ESL, and Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.

Norma Notzold

Director, Learning Center, Pennsylvania State University, Media, PA, USA

As a reading specialist, I concentrate my efforts on developmental and multicultural education. In addition to directing the on-campus Learning Center, I teach Reading, Education and American Studies. My research has been published in the Journal of Developmental Education, and I have presented papers at conferences throughout the United States.


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