The "school of life" : differences in U.S. and Canadian settlement policies and their effect on individual immigrants' experience
thesisposted on 2021-05-23, 14:47 authored by Annie Laurie Duguay
A growing body of literature suggests that language proficiency in the main language of the destination country is one of the most significant factors in the integration of immigrants. This study examines the overall differences in U.S. and Canadian settlement policy, using the provision of language courses as an example of the ways in which adult immigrants are integrated into the host society. Eleven Haitian women in both countries were interviewed to compare the way in which participants accessed key settlement information and resources as well as their language acquisition. The findings reveal that Canadian-based participants were much more likely to cite professional institutions ("formal facilitators") for referrals, whereas American-based particpants were more likely to learn from "informal facilitators." The findings also highlight differences in access and completion rates of language classes. Implications for how national settlement policy affects individual immigrants and their language acquisition are analyzed in the discussion.