Toronto Metropolitan University
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"I want to find a better place" : Assyrian immigrant women and English-language acquisition

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posted on 2021-05-24, 06:50 authored by Sonya Aslan

Canada's point system has helped ensure that many immigrants, both men and women, are fluent in English upon arrival (Kilbride et. aI, 2008). Consequently, research has indicated that those who enter as sponsored or dependent family members, the majority of whom are adult women, arrive with limited fluency in English. A qualitative research approach, including two focus-group interviews with seven Assyrian immigrant women helped identify factors that have stymied or facilitated their successful acquisition of English. Conceptualizing the relationship between the language learner and the social world, a feminist poststructural theory (Weedon, 1997) provided a glimpse into the ways in which proficiency or, lack thereof in English has impacted the lives of Assyrian immigrant women in the areas of work, family and well-being. The findings suggest there are needs specific to each ethno-linguistic group and that a one-size-fits-all approach in English programming does not help address these differences.





  • Master of Arts


  • Immigration and Settlement Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Vappu Tyyskä Mehrunnisa Ali