Access and paricipation in the transition from school to higher education: The role of language

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English language proficiency emerged as a key barrier to the successful participation of refugee background students in both school and higher education. Language proficiency was fundamental to the realization of other key themes identified in the case study. As such, language proficiency is explored in more detail in this chapter. The chapter details the nature of additional language acquisition, and the differences between social and academic language registers, and juxtaposes these language requisites against the diverse educational prior experiences and language competencies of refugee youth. Utilising the narratives of these youth, as well as accounts from teachers and support staff at schools and universities across Australia, this chapter argues that refugee background students require language supports which are cognisant of their complex linguistic profiles and educational histories-rather than the one-size-fits-all generic model of academic and English language support that is more generally provided in educational institutions.




Adoniou, M. (2018). Access and paricipation in the transition from school to higher education: The role of language. In Refugee Background Students Transitioning Into Higher Education: Navigating Complex Spaces (pp. 111–130). Springer Singapore.

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