Few people immigrate to new countries simply because they want to. Often there are financial or political reasons people need to leave their home, thus leading them and perhaps many members of their family to a new place where automatically they will be treated as outsiders. Seldom does this uprooting represent tacit desire to be at the new place. Often this act entails pain and sadness, not only with respect to leaving family and friends, but also due to a grand lack of welcome in the new spot. There are positive stories, indeed. There are also many more stories of strife and hardship, including imagery of horrific violence and indeed rancid squalor. Thus, this assignment deals with the topic of displacement, a phenomenon often imposed on innocent people.

There is little question that the politics surrounding refugees, immigration, and displacement are daily conversations in the media and in our profession. As a result, it will be more than essential that we be both aware of and clued in on professional conversation with respect to asserting that language minority students have voice in today’s school, community, and public policy conversations.

For this web quest, you will be asked to delve into the topic of displacement as such applies to the lives of refugees, immigrants, and indeed language minority students. Reasons for doing so include notions that policy makers often fail to take into consideration issues of human rights, racism, or oppression in those displaced.

You will have this week to work on the project and offer your results at next week’s discussions threads online with Moodle. You may work with as many as two partners, if you’d like.


Demonstrate an understanding of a particular issue facing language minority students and language learners with respect to displacement, immigration, or refugees.
Become conversational regarding the issues surrounding this issue.
Understand where your voice may be offered up publicly with respect to this issue.
Possible procedure:

Select a specific issue or event currently pertinent to language learners, immigrants, language minority students with respect to public policy toward displacement, immigration, or refugees.
Research and collect media related articles concerning a particular issue of displacement, involuntary immigration (particularly with respect to children), or refugees. In other words, attempt to answer this question: What is public perception concerning the issue?
Research the policies (local, state, or national) that are actually in place or that are currently being considered.
Research what organizations are trying to do in order to address these issues. Statements may include responses that professional organizations and community centers are making in response to these policies, either positive or negative.
Show the context and spectrum of this issue, a story of people from this context, and the nature of the response (both in terms of policy and aid).
Idea: If you can personalize your report with a story of a particular person, you can substantially underscore the issues represented in your report.
Here are some possible topics:

Displacement due to warDisplacement due to economic hardship
Political asylum
Human rights
Illegal immigration
Human trafficking

Communicate with an expert

You may want to email an expert who can help you discuss the context and story you’re investigating. (Of course, you might consider other forms of communication, but you can start online here, being that this is a WebQuest). Here is a possibilities from the Refugees International Web site. You can attempt to contact anyone who participates with these Web sites.
Video/audio material

If you can, you can refer to and include any video or audio you come in contact with that helps you put your story into context.

Example books available in Green Library

You might refer to some publications regarding specific displacement events. Here are some examples of books that are available in the Green Library. Their codes are included,

Darfur: A Short History of a Long War. Julie Flint & Alex de Waal.
Green Library General Collection DT157.673 .F58 2005

One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War. Charles London.
Green Library General Collection HQ784.W3 L65 2007

Human Cargo: A Journey Among Refugees. Caroline Moorehead.
Green Library General Collection HV640 .M66 2005

Guiding questions

As you consider displacement, here are some guiding questions that might help you. As you go through these, you too might come up with other questions that will help your colleagues. Please feel free to add to the list.

Give us some history about refugees, immigration, and displacement.

What has been professional organizations’ response to the displacement?
What has been professional organizations’ response to the displacement?
What are the main issues?
What are the arguments on all sides offer up?
What have been the results?
Include an online discussion chat with transcript from the Moodle chat room. Do this at the end of your project. Discuss the most critical and important elements you learned from the project.

Final output: An online “Book”

You’ll put together a small online “book.” This can take shape as a web site, a downloadable MS Word document, a brief film, a PowerPoint, any other kind of media, or a combination thereof. Feel free to include graphics, animation, sound, if you’d like. The point will be that you’re offering a story and its context.

Show off your book next week in the online discussions section.


You can use this chart to see the degree of success you’re having with the project. Book bullet points factors regarding the context of the displacement issue. Factors are listed but are not necessarily in any special order:

2 points

The story of the issue is general. It applies to an issue we can see from news resources, but doesn’t necessarily refer to a unique experience or specific event.
Book includes resources one may contact in order to get involved in assessment situations with respect to immigrants, language minority students, or language learners.
Book relies specifically on its principal medium, perhaps PowerPoint or MS Word.
Book is a list of considerations, without consideration for putting these together in a cohesive item.
3 points

Book includes a brief but full description displacement.
Displacement story occurs such that there is sufficient detail to understand the context of the issue.
Story of the person or group of people indicates a detailed timeline of the issue and its development over this time.
Book includes description of the response to this event, both in terms of public and private policy. Book describes what some organizations are doing in light of this kind of story.
Book includes at least one piece of supporting media: videos, audio, graphics, sound, or animation.
Book includes quotes and paraphrasing of any experts.
Book includes appropriate citations.*
Book has appropriate writing conventions, including spelling and grammar.

4 points

Book demonstrates insightful detail regarding the context of the displacement issue, including specific anecdotes.
Story goes to the human dimension of the experience, noting numerous anecdotes, which place this issue into an even deeper perspective.
Book includes the groups’ personal reactions to this story and offers suggestions on ways people can help.
Book includes multiple kinds of media.
Book alludes to strategies and techniques in which advocacy may be helpful to those who need it.
Book demonstrates high critical thinking and sound connections of this experience, connecting it with the theories and conversations of the course.