SUNY Canton Associate Professor Identifies Barriers, Opportunities for 'Generation 1.5' Students

CANTON, NY (02/03/2017) (readMedia)-- A SUNY Canton faculty member's research examines the strategies employed by a non-native-English-speaking college student to become a successful multilingual writer in a college composition class.

Eunjyu Yu, Ph.D., who teaches in the School of Business and Liberal Arts, authored a research paper titled "Crossing Borders: Generation 1.5's Journey from Alien to Master" for the journal "Research and Teaching in Developmental Education." The term "generation 1.5" refers to those who immigrate to the U.S. as children and adolescents.

In her paper, she presents a case study of a 19-year-old Chinese-American student and his experiences in a college composition class.

"Due to the strong influence of their mother tongue on their second language acquisition, generation 1.5 often struggle to create a social and academic presence in a mainstream college composition classroom," Yu explained. "However, the success story of this student provides a blueprint for struggling ESL students and higher education institutions."

The case study details strategies employed by the student to successfully construct his academic and social presence in college, such as utilizing translation applications and consulting with his English-speaking classmates.

"My findings support the value in fostering a culturally-inclusive environment, promoting the importance of linguistic and cultural diversity, and sustaining solid ESL support services to help these students be successful," she said. "It can also help higher education institutions more effectively serve the growing college ESL population."

The journal "Research and Teaching in Developmental Education" is sponsored by the New York College Learning Skills Association.

About SUNY Canton

SUNY Canton is Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs. The college delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, health, management and public service and recently received number one rankings in library resources, library services and tutoring services in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey. The college's faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 11 exclusively online bachelor's degrees. The college's 15 athletic teams compete as members of the NCAA Division III.