English Language Learning
Services for School-aged Refugee Children
The Refugee Children School Impact Grant (RCSIG) funds refugee social service agencies to help integrate refugee children into Illinois schools. Agencies offer services to schools, refugee children and their parents. Schools may call programs listed below directly for assistance.
Contact Sherry Johnson at 312-814-3850 for more information on school aged refugee children.
- Video Streams (Requires Real Player - Free Download)
This guide to Illinois schools for newcomer parents can be downloaded in pdf format
Involving Immigrant and Refugee Families in Their Children's School's: Barriers, Challenges, and Successful Strategies
The state of Minnesota sells videos produced for newcomer parents.
- You Can Help Your Child in School and You Can Talk to Your Child’s School (for parents in English, Somali, Hmong, Spanish, Russian and Amharic
- Minnesota Humanities Commission: Reading Tips
Refugee Language and Culture
- Cultural Orientation Resource Center/Center for Applied Linguistics website includes information on refugee resettlement, refugee culture profiles and phrase books in refugee languages.
- The online Ethnologue includes information on the languages of the world.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees offers teacher resources on refugees. The National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education has an online library of language and cultural resources.
Immigrant/Refugee Education Policy
The Illinois Immigrant Policy Project released papers on the education of immigrants and refugees:
- Improving Education for Immigrants and Refugees in Illinois: A Summary Prepared by Christina M. Kappaz, Millennia Consulting, L.L.C.
- Improving Education for Immigrants and Refugees in Illinois: Final Report Prepared by Christina M. Kappaz, Millennia Consulting, L.L.C.
- Challenges and Promising Practices in Early Childhood and Family Literacy Education for Language Minority Students Prepared by the National Association for Bilingual Education
- Challenges Facing High Immigrant Serving Secondary Schools in the Context of Standards Based School Reform Prepared by Michael Fix and Jorge Ruiz de Velasco, The Urban Institute
- A Chance to Earn, A Chance to Learn: Linking Employment and English Training for Immigrants and Refugees New to English Prepared by Heide Spruck Wrigley, Aguirre International and Julie Strawn, Center for Law and Social Policy
General Information on Language and Culture
This is an excellent site for general information (definitions) and then it links to more specific and advanced topics on various countries from which refugees come.
- Background Notes
The U.S. Department of State has put the popular Background Notes online. These profiles of all the world's countries include brief information on history, people, economy, political conditions, travel/business notes, and more.
- Center for Applied Linguistics
The Center for Applied Linguistics provides resources, grants and general information about speakers of other languages and their lives and roles in the United States.
- CIA World Facebook
This is a collection of brief profiles every country and includes maps, information on the people, government, economy, more.
- The Cultural Orientation Research Center (CORC)
The Cultural Orientation Research Center in Washington, D.C. has information on refugee resettlement, culture profiles and phrase books languages.
This extensive site presents information about languages and language speakers all ofer the world.
This movie traces the journeys of several immigrants in a profound, moving way.
- UNHCR Publications
The Refugees Magazine is available online and is searchable. This is a useful source of information about all refugee groups helped by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
- U.S. Committee for Refugees
- Refugee Services of America
These agencies offer much information on the status of refugees worldwide, including news and additional sources information.
This is an international professional organization for teachers of speakers of other languages.
Resources for Teachers
- ERIC Clearinghouse
on Language and Linguistics
A bibliography of books, articles, digests, guides and links to ESL teaching techniques is be found here.
about School and Community
This is a good source on Vietnamese expectations about school and community.
- Illinois State Board of Education Collection of Resources
- Improving Education for Immigrants and Refugees in Illinois: A Summary
- Improving Education for Immigrants and Refugees in Illinois: Final Report
- Challenges Facing High Immigrant Serving Secondary Schools in the Context of Standards Based School Reform
- Who is a Refugee?
for Civil Rights
The site includes FAQs on rights of LEPs, and resources for developing ELL programs
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Teacher Resources
Many and varied resources in-depth information are on this site.
World in a Classroom
The site discusses and gives anecdotes about refugee adjustment to school.
be a Teen Refugee
Readers will learn how it feels to be a teenage refugee at this site.
- Visit a refugee camp
This is an excellent site for use by teachers. It contains a middle and high school curriculum on refugee issues and refugee camps — "A Refugee Camp in the Heart of the City."
Resource Center's ekit
The Illinois State Board of Education and Resource Center have collaborated to create a locally nationally relevant knowledge base in area educating linguistically culturally diverse students. ekit is an electronic that designed place information guide teachers administrators ways provide effective, efficient, pedagogically sound instruction for English language learners your school.
Resources for Social Service Agencies & Educators
- Growing Up in a New Country: A Positive Youth Development Toolkit for Working with Refugees and Immigrants
- Raising Children in a New Country: A Toolkit for Working with Newcomer Parents
- BRYCS: Bridging Refugee Youth
& Children's Services
BRYCS is a national technical assistance project working to broaden the scope of information and collaboration among service providers in order to strengthen services to refugee youth, children, and their families.
Information for Parents
- A Guide to Your Children's
Schools: A Parent Handbook
The guide to Illinois schools for newcomer parents can be downloaded in various languages: Arabic, Bosnian, Russian, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
You Can Help Your Child Videos
The two videos is this series are: "You Can Help Your Child in School" and Talk to Child's School. They are translated into English, Somali, Hmong, Spanish, Russian and Amharic can be ordered onsite.
Information on Specific Refugee Groups
Information about Afghan women and their lives during the war in Afghanistan can be found here.
Hell to Heaven: Bantus Make a New Life in the U.S.
The site discusses how the Somali Bantu have adjusted to their new lives and roles in the United States.
from Laos -- Historical Background and Causes
The site provides background on Hmong refugees.
- Somali Bantu
To request bound copies of the reports listed above, contact Carol Rech at the Illinois Department of Human Services.