Yugoslavian immigrant women learning English

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Freeman, Karen Lynn
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 1998
When immigrants move to another country, their success is determined by acceptance within the new society. Acceptance within the new society is dependent upon removal of the language barrier and thus learning the English language. My question for this study are as follows: 1) are there cultural or environmental barriers which may inhibit the ability of immigrant women to learn and use English, and 2) are there role expectations which may prevent women from taking full advantage of opportunities to learn the new language? Such barriers may arise from the nature of the interpersonal relationships or roles within the family unit, or values held by women or their spouse/partner, such as attitude toward gender equality, which could influence the ability or opportunity to learn English. This research explores the experience of immigrant women from the former Yugoslavia in accessing and learning the English language. These women who are between the ages of twenty and forty-five and their families, have immigrated to a small western Canadian city, since the war in that country in 1990. In addition, this study explores the influence of factors such as educational attainment, efficiency in their first language, motivation and desire on learning and retaining English. My analysis, based on interviews with seven immigrant women, revealed that even though hierarchical structure is evident in their cultural beliefs, women empower themselves through their motivation and desire to learn English, primarily for reasons of economic stability.
v, 112 leaves ; 29 cm.
English language -- Study and teaching as a second language -- Canada , English language -- Study and teaching -- Canada -- Foreign speakers , English language -- Study and teaching -- Canada -- Serb-Croatian speakers , Yugoslavs -- Canada , Women immigrants -- Canada , Dissertations, Academic