The importance of the teacher-student relationship in contributing to adolescent EAL newcomer success in secondary school
The purpose of this study was first to describe the impact of the relationship between adolescent newcomers in South Winnipeg secondary schools and their teachers. Additional sub-questions examined teacher valuation of newcomer’s cultural background and solicited advice for both EAL newcomers and educators. Data was collected via semi-structured interviews with recent EAL adult graduates that arrived in Manitoba between the ages of 13-17, with the intent of discovering common themes from their experiences. Results revealed the importance of EAL newcomers having a caring, patient teacher with a sense of humour that has a sincere interest in who they are and in their cultural heritage. They also clearly show the need for schools to look for more effective and authentic ways to connect newcomers with their Canadian peers. This report concludes with recommendations for teachers and administrators to consider when developing teacher PD and programming for newcomer adolescent EAL students.