Intersectionalities of language, education, and employment among 1.5-generation Mexican immigrants

Norman, Camille Heather
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This study documents experiences of 1.5-generation immigrants from Mexico and examines how they have navigated the intersections of language, education, and employment. It is framed inside the question: in the context of San Antonio, Texas, in what ways does language learning in public schools impact 1.5-generation immigrants in their academic and employment trajectories? Additionally, it documents the participants' learning experiences in relationship to their family, work, and pursuit of higher education. Nine students participated in the study. Of these, seven participated in two focus groups, and two were interviewed and recorded. Data collected was recorded, transcribed and analyzed using narrative analysis to generate themes, trends, and patterns. It was found that some participants successfully negotiated higher education as well as employment despite challenges with academic language acquisition. Others continued to explore their educational options. The majority of the participants attributed their academic and professional successes to support provided by family members and community connections. More work must necessarily be carried out to amplify the understanding of ways in which 1.5-generation students transition into higher education and employment.

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1.5-generation, ESL, Higher education, Language learning, Mexican immigrants, Social support
Bicultural-Bilingual Studies