Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Urban Education


Ofelia Garcia

Committee Members

Nicholas Michelli

Tatyana Kleyn

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | International and Comparative Education


newcomer immigrant youth, educational histories, language-minority adolescents, adolescent and second-language literacy, students with limited or interrupted formal education, academic trajectories


This dissertation details the educational histories and linguistic portraits of newcomer immigrant youth in their countries of origin, and provided accounts of their academic trajectories after arrival in the United States. The data provide evidence of poor quality instruction, particularly in literacy, and educational environments in low-income sending countries. The study shows that prior schooling experiences in the country of origin have an impact on school readiness, the degree to which immigrant youth are prepared for education in secondary classrooms in the U.S. The dissertation also provides an analysis of how pre-migration education interacts with educational performance after immigration, leading to academic acceleration or stagnation. This research project demonstrates how educational institutions in the countries of origin and in the United States have systematically enacted symbolic violence, mediating and withholding linguistic and educational resources, as well as learning opportunities, from immigrant adolescents.