ESL or EAL

I was visiting with Ka Di Thang “Kyaw Win” [Jaw Win] today and discovered a new perspective about our arriving Chin Burmese.   When a person flees Burma the eastern folks go over the border into Thailand and end up in a refugee camp.  They are relegated to the premises, among people that speak their language and they receive a subsistence alotment of rice each month.

The western folks, Chin and Kachin Burmese, travel south to Malaysia where their status is dicey, they aren’t citizens so they aren’t supposed to have jobs, there is no refugee camp.  They have to scramble for a living.   So they eek out a living in a foreign culture.  But not only that, many of them learn to speak Malaysian,  as well as knowing their original dialect of Chin and state mandated Burmese.   So when we conduct English as a Second Language (ESL) classes it is more accurate to say it is English as an Additional Language (EAL).    These folks who had to make it on their own, adapt to a foreign culture and learn a new language seem to be enculturating to America at a more rapid pace than other arriving refugees.

Kyaw Win and Sang I at First Wesleyan Picnic

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About johnmcmurphy

Jesus is first and foremost in my life. He is above all religions, principalities and powers. In everything He must increase and I must decrease. Into the hands of Jesus, God has placed life and death, truth and purity. strength and meaning. Only in a growing understanding of the triune God, and his son Jesus can I do, breathe, exist and serve. I have a Bachelor's degree in Bible from Vennard College, a Master's in Social Science from Azusa Pacific University and a Ph. D. from Ohio State in Family Relations and Human Development. I am an ordained pastor involved in cross-cultural ministry. I am currently employed at several colleges as an instructor. If you need to get in touch with me, just leave a comment, I screen all comments and so you can leave further contact information which I will erase before it is published. -John

Posted on January 13, 2010, in K-L, S, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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