Helping Immigrant and Minority Students Succeed
Immigrant and minority students in both Canada and the United States lag their peers in academic achievement scores. They also experience higher dropout rates. These trends are thought to be the result of several factors, including cultural and language differences between school and home, insufficient teaching resources, poor-quality teaching, and structural barriers within schools and society.
As Canada Research Chair in Transnational/Global Perspectives on Language and Literacy Education of Children and Youth, Dr. Guofang Li hopes to improve the success rates of immigrant and minority students by addressing the cultural, linguistic, instructional and structural barriers to their literacy and academic achievement.
Li’s research aims to identify the literacy resources and practices that exist in immigrant families, since they are critical to students’ ability to make successful transitions between home and school. Based on these resources and practices, she is establishing innovative ways to bridge the gap between the cultural resources and linguistic knowledge from students’ home lives and teachers’ and schools’ literacy efforts.
Li’s findings will increase educators’ understanding of specific cultural practices, as well as the importance of culturally relevant approaches to educating immigrant and minority students. Her research will also address the need to examine current language and educational policies and practices in today’s increasingly global world.