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“I Was Given a Second Chance”: Retrospective Life History Stories from Generation 1.25 Immigrant Students

  • Author(s): Tran, Ngoc Hong
  • Advisor(s): Su�rez-Orozco, Carola
  • et al.

This research study embraced the call-to-action of bridging the compassion gap (C. Su�rez-Orozco, 2019) and a qualitative life history research approach to explore the (pre-, during-, and post-) migratory experiences of ten former newcomer high school students. Through in-depth interviews, this study sought to understand the stories of these ten 1.25-generation immigrants as they retrospectively narrate their lived experiences before, during, and after their immigration journeys, with a focused interest in displacement trauma and interrupted formal education, and the influences these experiences had on their academic and life trajectories. This study also documented the heartfelt advice each participant offered to current adolescent newcomer students. The findings of this study were shared in two distinct ways: Chapter Four was written in narrative vignettes and mainly in the voices of the participants as they relived their stories, while Chapter Five examined the ten interviews collectively. The major findings of this study revealed that the longer the immigration journey, the longer the time of interrupted formal education. Most of the participants minimized or channeled their traumatic experiences to serve others. After completing high school in the United States, these newcomer students still felt unprepared for college and career due to limited English language skills. These 1.25-generation immigrants were self-motivated individuals who advised current newcomer adolescent students to study English deeply and connect with others to help with the stressors of post-migration experiences. The researcher of this study recommended more intensive English Language Development (ELD) for the 1.25-generation immigrant students, a sustained and collaborative articulation between K-12 and Higher Education to support English Learners, an ongoing orientation system to support and connect high school newcomer students, and the incorporation of trauma-informed social and emotional learning (SEL) into the curriculum.

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