Institutionalized inclusion: A case study on support for immigrants in English learning

Huamei Han*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a three-year ethnography, this article illuminates how institutions and individuals can support immigrants' language learning and settlement in today's globalized, multicultural societies. It focuses on how a Mandarin-English bilingual Chinese church's practices fostered a young couple's English learning and social economic inclusion into the evangelical Christian Chinese community in Canada. Drawing on the conceptualization of learning as legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991), concretized by concepts of region and stage (Goffman, 1959) and social capital (Bourdieu, 1977, 1986), I illustrate the multiple effects of this couple's increased participation in their church community. I then analyze how institutionalized, multiple forms of mediation (Vygotsky, 1978) opened up spaces for and assisted their increased participation. I argue that allowing ethnolinguistic minority immigrants a legitimate speaking position, at interpersonal, institutional, and ideological levels, facilitates immigrant language learning and integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-668
Number of pages26
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Institutionalized inclusion: A case study on support for immigrants in English learning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this