Document Type




Format of Original

21 p.

Publication Date



National Association for the Education and Advancement

Source Publication

Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement

Source ISSN



This article investigates the effects of ethnic acceptance and prejudice on English language learning among immigrant nonnative speakers. During 2004 and 2005, the author conducted participatory dialogues among six Vietnamese and Mexican adult immigrant English language learners. The researcher sought to answer five questions: (1) What are some nonnative English speakers’ experience regarding the way native speakers treat them? (2) How have nonnative English speakers’ experiences of ethnic acceptance or ethnic prejudice affected their learning of English? (3) What do nonnative English speakers think they need in order to lower their anxiety as they learn a new language? (4) What can native English speakers do to lower nonnative speakers’ anxiety? (5) What can nonnative English speakers do to lower their anxiety with native English speakers? Even though many of the adult immigrant participants experienced ethnic prejudice, they developed strategies to overcome anxiety, frustration, and fear. The dialogues generated themes of acceptance, prejudice, power, motivation, belonging, and perseverance, all factors essential to consider when developing English language learning programs for adult immigrants.


Published version. Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, Vol. 2 (2007). Publisher Link. Published under Creative Commons 4.0.

Jeffrey LaBelle was affiliated with the University of San Francisco at the time of publication.

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