Selamawi Asgedom

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  • English Language Learners: A Case Study

    have to ask themselves when they enter for their first day of school. However, there are many children coming from countries such as Mexico and Sudan, where these are questions that children ask themselves every day. Accordingly, I began to ask myself the question what different aspects of a daily classroom routine that might prove to be challenging for English Language Learners due to cultural mismatches or misunderstandings in terms of their feelings of comfort and security while at school. I came upon this idea as I was looking at different articles about English Language Students reflecting on their own experiences and I recently taught a novel to my English Language Arts students this past year called Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom, which is about a boy who fled to the U.S. from Ethiopia during a civil war with Eritrea and his growth from refugee to Harvard graduate. Mawi and the two boys from Mexico are just some of the examples of case studies that I found where there is a cultural mismatch between their North American school and their native school in terms of safety and security. Quetzal was eight years old and Rodriguez was eleven years old when they came to the United States from Mexico. I came across their interesting stories in the article, “Dreams Beyond Labels: Case Studies of Four English Language Learners Who Are Beating the Odds” by Julie Israelson. As I was reading their case studies, I noticed a commonality among some of the lines of thinking among…

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