Rethinking the Curriculum: Meeting the Needs of Immigrant Students in Multiculturalism

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Yeon Jung (Judy) Lee


A rapidly growing number of immigrant students with limited English ability, commonly referred to as English Limited Learners (ELL) are enrolled in school populations throughout Canada. One of Canada’s national values is multiculturalism and efforts are made to ensure that all citizens keep their identities, take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging in a nation with two languages. At the same time, the primary goal of provincial education is to support the intellectual development of students. Enabling students to achieve the goals of human and social development and career development is a responsibility shared by schools, families, and the community (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 2009). These goals apply equally to English Limited Learners. In spite of Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism, immigrant students face great difficulties including language barriers and a lack of sense of belonging and cultural acceptance. Consequently, it appears that school curricula may not be providing enough support to help immigrant students fully adjust in mainstream classes and meet the ideals of multiculturalism.


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Lee, Y. J. (Judy). (2013). Rethinking the Curriculum: Meeting the Needs of Immigrant Students in Multiculturalism. SFU Educational Review, 6.