While first language social networks offer immigrants practical and emotional support in the early period of their settlement in a new country, the development of social networks through English is crucial at this time not only for the acquisition of the linguistic and social capital vital to their long-term advancement, but also for the development of a community that is socially inclusive. In this paper I draw on data from a nation-wide study of the experiences of newly arrived immigrants over a one-year period as they studied English in an onarrival program and moved on to work and study in the community. I first explore the opportunities they reported for using and making social connections through English and then consider the impact of the issues they encountered on their language learning and attitudes to the community. I then reflect on the implications for a dynamic view of social inclusion as driving rather than reacting to social change.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2011|