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Learning a new land: immigrant students in American society [Kindle Edition]

Carola Suárez-Orozco , Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco , Irina Todorova
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

One child in five in America is the child of immigrants, and their numbers increase each year. Based on an extraordinary interdisciplinary study that followed 400 newly arrived children from the Caribbean, China, Central America, and Mexico for five years, this book provides a compelling account of the lives, dreams, academic journeys, and frustrations of these youngest immigrants.

Editorial Reviews


In the fierce national debate about immigration, too many ignore the millions of children trying to find their way in a society that wants their parents' work, does not want to give them rights, but expects them to meet intense academic demands in a language they don't command, in communities from which their families may be expelled. The Suárez-Orozcos' remarkable study of immigrant students on both coasts challenges us to think about the consequences and to help these children realize their potential.
--Gary Orfield, Co-Director, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, University of California, Los Angeles

This is a compelling report on a groundbreaking study of immigrant adaptation to America. The authors offer a comprehensive overview of the possibilities and challenges immigrant children face in public schools, and make a strong case for practical strategies and new policies to enable them to become successful students and citizens. This is a must-read for teachers, policymakers, and educators who are invested in the future of our nation's increasingly multicultural schools.
--Kathleen McCartney, Harvard Graduate School of Education

[Learning a New Land] examines how the children of immigrants are doing in American schools. It's a discouraging picture, and should be a wake-up call to anyone who cares about education.
--Josh Green (San Francisco Chronicle 20080302)

This book offers the results of a five-year study that followed 400 children from China, Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico, all newly arrived in the United States. These kids' struggles are so poignant. The statistics are amazing, too: One of every five children in America is the child of an immigrant, and one in five immigrant children has only one native English-speaking friend.
--Nell Casey (Cookie 20081201)

About the Author

Carola Suárez-Orozco is Professor of Applied Psychology and Co-Director of Immigration Studies at New York University.

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco is Courtney Sale Ross University Professor of Globalization and Education and Co-Director of Immigration Studies at New York University.

Irina Todorova is an international health psychology consultant in Boston.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3642 KB
  • Print Length: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; 1 edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002P3KAUK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,580 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Suarez-Orozco et. al set out with a distinct goal for the Longitudinal Immigration Student Adaptation study, and they met this goal through a robust, mixed-methodologies study of recently arrived immigrant students in the United States. The mix of ethnographic, psychological, and educational metrics used are artfully described in the introduction, contextualizing the resultant data in meaningful ways. The outward purpose of Longitudinal Immigrant Student Adaptation Study, and by extension Learning in a New Land, is to "gain a more complete understanding of the experience of immigration," (p.6). More specifically, the book seeks to illuminate the academic progress of recently arrived immigrant children over five years. The authors successfully achieve this, reporting the statistically significant and case study-based findings for how elements of immigrant children's lives interact to affect academic achievement.
Overall, the book does an excellent job in presenting the results of a large-scale study in a relevant, nuanced form that is easily read by educational professionals of varying orientations. The policy implications are clearly advocated. However, the book's treatment of micro-issues, such as how educators can mitigate the effects gender has on educational achievement, lacks concrete suggestions. The field can pick up where the authors left off by discussing such issues that were raised in the research. I expect discussion of theory and possible interventions to follow this work. Carola and Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Irina Todorova, and the myriad field researchers deserve congratulations for a comprehensive, well-defined, rigorous study that is expertly summarized and discussed in Learning in a New Land.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully informative and important work September 9, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is incredibly helpful. The authors pull from an in-depth five year study to describe the lives of immigrant children who are trying to navigate their way through educational systems under difficult conditions. The writing is clear, the case studies are fascinating, and the policy recommendations are well-informed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting April 5, 2010
By Golden
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

I stumbled upon this book while researching resources on Amazon for my adult secondary ELLs as I was finishing up my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in TESOL at USF (University of South Florida.) I mention this because as soon as I finished the book, I ordered one for my major professor who had yet to discover it. We both loved it!

I found the book to be incredibly evocative of the struggles and hardships immigrant students face, giving me a better perspective on how to approach my adult students who may very well have never completed traditional elementary or secondary education in their countries of birth or even while in the US.

This is a scholarly book, not light reading, but very personal in its "Portraits" of case-study students whose lives we enter into.

I am on this page today to copy the Amazon link to this book for my own web site as a resource I highly recommend for purchase.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Immigrants January 30, 2010
By maryann
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is an easy read. It helped me understand why people migrate and what they have to give up to get out of a very bad sitution in hope for a better future. Unfortunately for some of these immigrants, it also shows them the reality of America and the hardships that they will face, not the "America of dreams come true" that they expected. After reading this book as a teacher, my perspective for immigrants students and their struggles changed for the better. I have a better unstanding of how hard it is for them to learn in a school setting, what they had to give up to come here and how they continue to sacrifice and hope for a better future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long review at CIS November 10, 2011
Those interested in this book will find an eight page review of it at CIS dot ORG. The review is by John Wahala, the Assistant Director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "Suarez-Orozco et al. provide a devastating look into how immigrant students are faring in American schools. Unlike many in the debate, they do not share the assessment that everything will work out for these children just like it did for the immigrants of yesteryear."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent research information, very illuminating! September 16, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The contents of this research are not only of interest to the serious researcher, they are valuable for teachers, administrators, and policy makers. There is a good mix of "hard data" and cited comments of participants and observers of issues of interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must buy! January 31, 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I must read for educators and the general public. This well developed and written book provides new lens to understand how immigrant youth experience schools, but also how their families and friends shape their views on what is possible.
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