Guides to Supporting Refugee Students

These books offer educators valuable background information and approaches for working with refugee students. Many of the titles introduce educators to key conflicts that bring refugees to the U.S., as well as strategies for addressing limited educational experiences and trauma.

If you are looking for books for your students or classroom tips, take a look at How to Support Refugee Students in the ELL Classroom.

Disposable People?: The Plight of Refugees

Product Description: For two years, award-winning author Judy Mayotte lived among refugee peoples when her family became Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Khmer refugees on the Thai-Cambodian border, and Eritrean refugees in Sudan. Faced with stagnation and total dependency, the refugees' lives have been shattered, yet their hope remains alive — as do their dreams of returning home. A valuable introduction to the refugee experience.

From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America

Product Description: New York Times bestselling author Steven V. Roberts follows the stories of thirteen immigrant families in From Every End of This Earth, a poignant and eye-opening look at immigration in America today. He captures the voices of those living the promise of a new land — and the difficulties of starting over among strangers whose suspicions increasingly outweigh their open-armed acceptance. As the political debate rages on, Roberts sheds light on the enormous contributions immigrants continue to make to the fabric and future of America.

Letters from Burma

Age Level: 16-18

Product Description: In these unforgettable letters, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi reaches out beyond Burma's borders to paint a vivid and poignant picture of her native land. She celebrates the courageous army officers, academics, and everyday people who have supported the National League for Democracy, often at great risk to their own lives. She reveals how state oppression has adversely affected everything from the national diet to traditions of hospitality.

Linguistically Appropriate Practice: A Guide for Working with Young Immigrant Children

This groundbreaking book provides a convincing argument on the benefits of dual language learning while simultaneously introducing a new teaching approach known as 'Linguistically Appropriate Practice.' This approach offers guidance for a range of professionals who work with young immigrant children and helps them to ensure that home languages are maintained and strengthened while children are assisted in learning the dominant school language.

Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference

Age Level: 16-18

"St. John, a New York Times reporter, brought Clarkston, GA, to national attention in 2007 with a series of articles about the changes in the small Southern town brought about by an influx of refugees from all over the world. This book comes out of those articles…The book is a sports story, a sociological study, a tale of global and local politics, and the story of a determined woman who became involved in the lives of her young charges." — School Library Journal (Young readers edition also available.)

Strength in What Remains

Tracy Kidder gives us the story of one man’s inspiring American journey and of the ordinary people who helped him, providing brilliant testament to the power of second chances. Deo arrives in the United States from Burundi in search of a new life. Having survived a civil war and genocide, he lands at JFK airport with two hundred dollars, no English, and no contacts. He ekes out a precarious existence delivering groceries, living in Central Park, and learning English by reading dictionaries in bookstores.

Supporting Refugee Children: Strategies for Educators

Product Description: The psychosocial needs of war-affected children who migrate to other countries are difficult to identify, complicated to understand, and even more troubling to address. Supporting Refugee Children provides a holistic exploration of these challenges and offers practical advice for teachers, social workers, and counsellors, as well as suggestions for policy makers.

Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress

Half the students in U.S. schools are experiencing or have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress. Much has been written about these students from a therapeutic perspective, especially regarding how to provide them with adequate counseling supports and services. Conversely, little has been written about teaching this population and doing so from a strengths-based perspective.

Using real-world examples as well as research-based principles, this book shows how to

The Essential Guide for Educating Beginning English Learners

English language learners who are new to U.S. schools face all kinds of challenges, as do the educators and schools serving them. Debbie Zacarian and Judie Haynes draw on their extensive experience to share an approach that can be used in identifying and meeting newcomer ELLs' needs, from evaluating prior academic experience to addressing social/emotional trouble that may result from trauma. The authors have included numerous tools for educators' professional development, including discussion and reflection charts, rubrics, sample forms, and vocabulary lists.

The Inner World of the Immigrant Child

Product Description: This powerful book tells the story of one teacher's odyssey to understand the inner world of immigrant children, and to create a learning environment that is responsive to these students' feelings and their needs. Featuring the voices and artwork of many immigrant children, this text portrays the immigrant experience of uprooting, culture shock, and adjustment to a new world, and then describes cultural, academic, and psychological interventions that facilitate learning as immigrant students make the transition to a new language and culture.

The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community

"Though Lincoln, Nebraska, seems a strange gathering place for refugees from all corners of the globe, it is the setting for Mary Pipher's The Middle of Everywhere, an ardent, anecdotal, and at times moving study of some new arrivals to the United States. Pipher emphasizes the resiliency of the refugees — from Laos, Bosnia, Northern Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and the former Soviet Union — whose homeland tales of death, privation, torture, and multi-pronged persecution vary only in the details.

Understanding Your Refugee and Immigrant Students: An Educational, Cultural, and Linguistic Guide

Product Description: The author has focused her research on 18 countries that contribute a majority of refugees and immigrants to the United States. Each country profile features statistics about the country, a historical synopsis, an overview of the county's official education policy, cultural perspectives, and a problem-solution section containing classroom strategies. The linguistic systems of the languages featured are also included for teacher reference.