Complexities of shared ethnicity, immigrant education, and disabilities: Reconceptualizing multicultural special education

Kim Fong POON-MCBRAYER

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

This article draws insight from a narrative inquiry to examine the complexities of educating immigrant students with disabilities in which language, culture, and disability collide. Issues related to language-in-education policy, teacher preparation, and the proportion and identification of culturally and linguistically diverse students were primarily reviewed within multicultural and multilingual education conceptual frameworks in English speaking countries between English speaking teachers and non-English speaking students. Little is known about potentially more complicated situations such as those in which teachers and students have a shared ethnicity and dialects with different levels of proficiency. This article thus attempts to illustrate and map the complexity based on the insight from a narrative inquiry situated in an inclusive school setting of Hong Kong. Multiple sources of data were included for a thorough understanding of and analyses on the place, temporality, and sociality within the narrative inquiry framework. Data were drawn from interviews, classroom observations, teacher diaries, school data, and student input. Analyses indicated that shared ethnicity and languages could complicate rather than simplify the teaching and learning contexts. The lived experiences of the special educator demonstrated and contextualised the complex issues of educating CLD children with ADHD of shared ethnicity in multilingual environments. Findings of this inquiry added an important dimension to immigrant and multicultural special education studies and concluded that current inquiry paradigm should be expanded to include shared ethnicity and different proficiency in shared dialects/languages. Copyright © 2016 Centre for Human Development and Research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
JournalInternational Journal of Special Education
Volume31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Citation

Poon-McBrayer, K. F. (2016). Complexities of shared ethnicity, immigrant education, and disabilities: Reconceptualizing multicultural special education. International Journal of Special Education, 31(3), 1-27.

Keywords

  • Chinese immigrant students
  • Multilingual special education
  • Narrative inquiry

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