Donnerstag, 20. Oktober 2016, 16:00 - 18:00 iCal

Kolloquium LehrerInnenbildung

The Impact of Educating Teachers to Foster Literacy Performance among Immigrant Students

Orly Haim (Beit Berl College, Tel-Aviv University)

Seminarraum Zentrum für LehrerInnenbildung
Porzellangasse 4, Stiege 2, 3. Stock, 1090 Wien


Immigration is one of the primary sources of the challenges students face in many educational systems around the world. They have limited time to learn the language of the new society, study the required material, and catch up to their native speaking peers (Hobb, 2012). Studies have shown that immigrant students’ performance is related to the complex interaction among demographic, cognitive, linguistic, social psychological and educational factors (Cummins, 2000; Haim, 2014). Among these variables, school related educational factors, such as school policy and organization, instructional and assessment practices, parental involvement in the school curriculum, have been found to be strongly related to immigrants’ academic performance and acculturation process into the host society (Carhill, Suárez-Orozco, & Páez, 2008). Thus, teacher preparation to work with immigrant students and understanding of the linguistic and cultural differences of immigrants may play a critical role in immigrant students’ academic experience and performance in the destination country (Short, Fidelman, & Louguit, 2012).

In this presentation, we will discuss the difficulties experienced by immigrant students in the host country as well as theoretical and research findings pertaining to the factors explaining literacy performance in second and third language with particular emphasis on the role of the school context and teacher preparation to work with immigrant students. Findings obtained from a large scale study investigating factors predicting success in second and third language literacy performance will be presented (Haim, 2014, 2015). Additionally, we will explore considerations in designing educational programs for immigrant students as well as practical ideas for teaching and assessing multilingual immigrant students. In particular, we will discuss the following strategies among others: incorporating immigrants’ heritage language and culture, translanguaging, use of appropriate scaffolding, explicit teaching techniques, provision of adapted learning materials, testing accommodations, and self-assessment measures (Cummins, Markus, & Montero, 2015 ; Hobbs, 2012; Shohamy, 2007).



Cummins, J. (2000). Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Harvard Educational Review,56, 18-36.

Cummins, J., Hu, S., Markus, P., & Montero, M.K. (2015). Identity texts and academic achievement: Connecting the dots in multilingual school contexts. TESOL Quarterly 49 (3), 555-581.

Haim, O. (2014). Factors predicting academic success in second and third language among Russian-speaking immigrant students studying in Israeli schools. International Journal of Multilingualism. ttp://

Haim, O. (2015). Investigating transfer of academic proficiency among trilingual immigrant students: A tri-directional holistic approach. The Modern Language Journal, 99 (4), 696-716.

Hobbs, R.D. (2012). Diverse multilingual researchers contribute language acquisition components to an integrated model of education. International Journal of Multilingualism, 9 (3), 204-235.

Shohamy, E. (2007). Reinterpreting globalization in multilingual contexts. International Multilingual Research Journal, 1(2), 1-7.

Short, D. J, Fidelman, C. G., & Louguit, M. (2012). Developing academic language in English language learners through sheltered instruction. TESOL Quarterly 46 (2), 334-361.


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Harald Edlinger
Zentrum für LehrerInnenbildung