During the recent years, there has been extraordinary raise in the number of immigrants in Canada. Asians cover the largest group of the recent arrivals to Canada. During 1986 and 1991, there were 819,000 immigrants in Canada of whom 19 percent of them were children under the age of 12 years . (New Canadian children). At present, Asians are the fastest growing population in Canada. Asian immigrants include Indians, Chinese etc. , of whom Chinese make the greatest number of Asian immigrants in Canada over the past 20 years.
(Asian Canada). In 2003, Chinese comprise of 17. 3 percent of Canada’s immigrants. The Government of Canada is providing many facilities for such immigrant children. Despite of the facilities and the help given by the government of Canada, the Chinese immigrant children in Canada are facing many problems which include language problem, family income, school learning system, food style, living environment, cultural change, etc. , The teaching style in the Asian nations and Canada are quite different from each other.
(Researcher debunks) Chinese immigrant children in Canada face many problems in the school due to the teaching style and the language problem. Because Chinese value traditional ways of schooling, power imbalance occurs in between the teachers and the immigrant parents. Parental involvement is very important to the children whose native language is not English. (Parental involvement). Chinese immigrants who came to Canada recently are facing barriers to communicate effectively with the school personnel.
Chinese parents communicated with the teachers or school personnel only two to four times a year where as the non-immigrant parents communicated once in a month and even once in a week. (Home school communication). This happens because of one of the common reason that the Chinese parents cannot speak English and need to rely on the interpreters. The other reasons include non-availability of the school letters, school programme schedule and also with the lack of time. The immigrant children feels much pressure on the new education system.
When the home language is Chinese and English being the medium of instruction in the school, the child finds it very difficult to adjust and could not understand the concept when compared with the non-immigrant child. The children because of the language problem to communicate with other people, could not mingle with other children and find hard to make friends. If the immigrant child has friends in the school, it makes the child to develop communication skills as well as the interpersonal skills. This effects the child’s mental development.
When the child is physically and mentally happy and supported by the parents and the society, then that child becomes successful in the future. There are several reasons which leads to the vulnerability of new immigrant groups in Canada. Some of them are inability to speak dominant language, separation from community, negative public attitudes, and lack of knowledge of the health care systems. Poverty can be calculated using product of education and occupation but this may not be true with the immigrant situation.
Most of the immigrants have more formal education when compared to Canadians, they often face underemployment and unemployment. Due to the instability in the income, their children are affected. The parents cannot provide them with good educational facilities, quality food, and all other necessities as compared with the non-immigrant children. Due to the low functioning capacity of the family, the children suffer from the mental disorder, stress, conduct disorder, hyperactivity etc. These children are psychiatrically disordered.
These affect the education, games and other activities of children when compared with the non-immigrant children. The immigrant children also includes the children of the single parent family status. These families are usually accompanied by low education, low income, and there is a high risk of mental and physical health problems. The development of the child completely depends on the parents and the society. Children of alcoholic parents have high risk of developing psychiatric disorder. However, according to the report by Offord and Lipman, the disorder rates among the new immigrant children are lower.
(Growing up Canadian) Immigrants start their adaptation to the new country through a process called acculturation. (Acculturation/adaptation). An individual who is a participant in culture contact situation and when a person is being experienced by the external culture directly, it is known as psychological acculturation. The result or conclusion of acculturation is adaptation but this method includes stress which affects both immigrated parents and children. Expectations of both the new and old culture on the immigrant children show much burden.
The acculturation affects the Chinese immigrant children in internal domains such as aspirations and values and external domains such as social experience and the living environment. The meeting of the two cultures takes place in several levels to the immigrant Chinese children. The fore most level would be the cultural practices and beliefs, social experience and the parental expectations. Chinese culture is completely different from that of the western culture. Asians give importance to the needs and rights of the group of people and they believe in interdependence.
But these principles are incompatible with the western culture where they believe in the individualism, personal growth and individual achievement. Certain amount of discontinuity concerning cultural contexts and values of their new and previous homelands are shown on the recently immigrated Chinese children. By the cultural discrepancy, the immigrant Chinese children feel acculturative pressure from both sources like schooling and peers. The immigrated Chinese children will be unwilling to stick to the parental norms due to the pressures of the new culture.
The cultural values to which the immigrant children are used to in their homes would conflict with those of the values and beliefs of the western culture. However, the immigrant children stay different from the non-immigrant children in their values. The immigrant children have their own norms and values which are important in the practise of daily life. The immigrant Chinese Children experience discrepancy in the food they eat usually because the food which Chinese eat is completely different from that of the western nations.
The immigrant Asian children have been found to achieve higher academic performances and the parental aspirations are high when compared to non-immigrant parents. Chinese immigrant children may thus locate themselves between the parent’s high expectations and comparative poorer aspirations of the new culture. A source of concern over the Chinese-Canadian community is the racial discrimination. According to the leaders of the Chinese-Canadian community, the immigrant Chinese children have not only been ostracized but also they have been subjected to physical and verbal attacks.
These attacks were unacknowledged by the schools and the teachers. Adolescents and the immigrant Chinese children have been the unknowing sufferers of violence. The immigrant Chinese children were the targets of different forms of discrimination. Due to this the immigrant Chinese children experienced complicated social relationships even in the school where the children feel alienated and isolated. The immigrant high school Chinese students feel much difficult and socially isolated in their English classes. Encounters with discrimination and racism are very common among the immigrant Chinese children.
Thus the difference between the parental expectations, cultural beliefs of their country and the new host country would confuse the immigrant children regarding their aspirations and personal values. The Chinese immigrant children experience bias based on race and so they have diminished sense of belonging to their school communities. In Canada, the immigrant disabled child is not treated properly. Canada is violating Rights of the child as well as the seven articles of the united nations conventions. The disabled immigrant children in Canada are not guaranteed social and basic educational services.
Canada is violating the rights of the immigrants by refusing the children with disabilities. Disability is understood as a political issue rather than the personal issue. The provisions under immigration and refugee protection act (IRPA) and the original immigration is best known to the poor treatment of people which was later enacted to replace in 2002. Canada’s system of immigration does not recognise children with disabilities but rather gives importance to the economically desirable workers. The immigration of a disabled child depends on the how independent the children could be when they grow up.
Even now, the Government of Canada is admitting disabled immigrant children only in some of the cases. If the government does not give permission for the disabled child to get immigrated, the child goes through tough times which spoils his career. The Government of Canada is providing certain programs which help the immigrant children to build up English language and adjust with the school environment. These programs include ESL, LINC etc. , ESL stands for English as a Second language. (ESL in Canada directory). ESL means teaching English to a person whose primary or native language is not English.
Education laws in Canada provide that ESL should be provided to all of the students who have been enrolled in the schools and whose primary language is not English. ESL programs in secondary and elementary schools are designed in such a way to meet the needs of the children to meet the proficiency standards. It focuses on English alphabet and phonetics to the children of all ages. In cooperation with the local school boards and colleges, community and immigrant organisations, the Government of Canada offers French and English language training programmes. This is known as LINC.
LINC stands for Language Instructions to Newcomers to Canada. (LINC programs) Intergovernmental cooperation helps territorial and provincial governments to put forward to members of official-language minority communities to provide education in their own language. (Intergovernmental Cooperation) British Columbia literacy program for the immigrant families/children have been released for the immigrant families with young children. The immigrant PALS (Parents As Literacy Supporters) is made for the for the pre-school children and the parents living in Canada for at least three years.
The Government of Canada provide education to the immigrant children through the language schools. Language schools are the schools where foreign languages are studied. Language schools offers certain specific programs to the people wishing to prepare for internationally recognised language exams such as TOEIC, TOEFL, University of Cambridge ESOL examinations, DELE etc. The immigrant Chinese people comprises most of the population in Canada. The immigrant Chinese children are facing many problems in the society, school etc.
, and they are often confused with the culture and customs of the new and previous homelands. They are also experiencing bias based on race, language and food and they stand socially isolated. Despite of these problems, the immigrated Chinese children are achieving higher academic performances. The Government of Canada should provide more schemes and facilities to the immigrated Chinese children and should help them to get better in their studies. REFERENCES: 1. Morton Beiser, New Canadian children and youth study, Health Canada, March 31, 1999.
http://ceris. metropolis. net/Virtual%20Library/health/beiser1. html 2. Marc Star, Asian Canada, http://www. goldsea. com/Features/Canada/canada. html 3. Guofang Li, Researcher Debunks “Myth” that Asians Are, by Nature, More Academically Successful than Other Minorities, December 4, 2002. http://www. buffalo. edu/news/5975 4. Simich-Dudgeon, Carmen, Parent Involvement and the Education of Limited-English-Proficient Students. ERIC Digest. 1986-12-00. http://www. ericdigests. org/pre-925/parent. htm 5. Lily L. Dyson, Home-school communication and
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