What Makes it Easy or Hard for You to Do Your Homework? An Account of Newcomer Immigrant Youthsâ Afterschool Academic Lives
Keywords:Homework, Immigrant youth, English Language Learners
AbstractWhile substantial research has focused on homework in the lives of native-born English-speaking students, research on immigrant students’ homework experiences remains scarce. A goal of this study was to describe the homework experiences of newcomer immigrant students, drawing from a project on how individual, family, and school characteristics shape these youths’ homework experiences. Focus groups and surveys were conducted with newcomer students (N=192) in an urban high school. Survey data were used to determine the prevalence of homework facilitators and impediments students experienced; focus group data were examined to develop an enhanced understanding of the contexts in which students encounter various facilitators and impediments. Understanding course materials, i.e. having academic English proficiency to comprehend course contents, was a key determinant in whether students experienced homework as easy or difficult. Results can inform ways in which home, school, and after-school settings may be structured to facilitate immigrant youths’ homework completion.
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