Book Chapter

Restraining English Instruction for Refugee Adults in the United States


Camps DMJ (2015) Restraining English Instruction for Refugee Adults in the United States. In: Feuerherm EM & Ramanathan V (eds.) Refugee Resettlement in the United States: Language, Policy, Pedagogy. Bristol: Multilingual Matters, pp. 54-72.

Currently, the contradictory nature of discourses in refugee policies, combined with policy mechanisms, undermines efforts to adequately prepare refugees, linguistically and culturally, for life and employment in the US. This chapter intends to show the link among discursive representations of refugees in policies and acquisition planning. A discourse analytic approach sheds light on the interaction of policies at different scales and how they entextualize specific perspectives with regard to second language acquisition of refugees in the US. The analysis focuses on key national and state policies that shape English language programs for newly arrived refugee adults within the current framework of the US Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). The data demonstrate how two distinct discourses regarding language and economic self-sufficiency in the Refugee Act (1980) are entextualized in other national and state policies. This results in the articulation of a new hybrid discourse which has a significant impact on the framing of English as a second language (ESL) programs for refugee adults and the allocation of federal social service funds. Moreover, I argue that understanding the (re)framing of discourses within refugee policies will help educators and advocates construct counter-discourses of their own.

FundersUniversity of Oslo
Publication date31/12/2015
Publication date online03/12/2015
PublisherMultilingual Matters
Publisher URL…?k=9781783094578
Place of publicationBristol