Sivanathan Sooriyakumar

SYD19

Girraween, NSW, Australia

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Challenge

The school I work in has a large population of new migrant families from war-affected countries. One of the biggest challenges I see educators face is developing communication and critical thinking skills amongst the children of these families. The school makes great effort to help new migrant children integrate well with existing students. However, communication barriers, both spoken and unspoken, and dramatic cultural differences can hinder students from settling in and therefore from making the most of their time in school. Often the migrant students spend time with their own community during the recess and lunch breaks. The migrant students and parents fear losing the richness of their culture in the process of integration. The challenge for educators is to help students and their families feel comfortable in their new country by integrating them into the community and the classroom while simultaneously preserving their unique cultural identity.

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