Winding pathways: supporting refugee students in high school a narrative inquiry into the experiences of one EAL teacher in Manitoba

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Melo, Sandra Pacheco
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The educational landscape for Manitoba has continued to shift with the arrival of many immigrants. In particular, there has been a noticeable increase in the numbers of refugee students in our schools who may have experienced interruptions in their education. Their presence in our schools brings unique challenges for teachers and school systems. This narrative inquiry explores my lived experiences as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher in a Manitoba high school working with refugee students who have had their learning interrupted due to a variety of reasons. I examine three main topics: the challenges and successes I have experienced while working with this particular group of EAL learners; how these experiences have impacted me in the past; and how they inform what I do now and in the future as I navigate through a new professional landscape. My goal is to provide readers with a firsthand account of what it is like to be an EAL teacher working with refugee students and some of the issues that have emerged as I worked and lived alongside these students in a Manitoba context. My hope is that this narrative inquiry will shed some light on how teachers might work with these students to help them succeed in high school.
narrative, inquiry, refugees, ESL, EAL, literacy, high school