Acculturation and Transformation among Female Immigrant Military Spouses in an ESL Learning Program at a Community College
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This study was designed to explore the acculturation experiences of military-related immigrant wives enrolled in an ESL program in a selected community college. More specifically, the purpose of the study was to understand the personal and structural forces that facilitated or hindered their acculturation process into their community of residence and whether their participation and retention in ESL classes contributed to their acculturation. Using a qualitative design with the basic interpretive paradigm, data collection consisted of face-to-face interviews with 14 immigrant military wives from 10 differing countries who were either enrolled or had been enrolled in a community college ESL program. The site chosen served a multicultural population of military spouses who enrolled in educational programs that offered English language development. The nearest ESL program, located at a community college near the military base, became an information-rich site for the study. The findings from the study highlighted the role of English language as an essential element to adjustment into the society of the United States for military immigrant wives, leading to acculturation and subsequently personal transformation. The data revealed both external and internal forces that influenced the acculturation process. External (structural) forces included community, workforce, the military, and an educational institution. The secondary forces included racial discrimination, cultural differences, and social networks within the community. Internal forces included love and care and self-efficacy. Self-efficacy was manifested through their persistence, patience, and resilience.
immigrant military spouse
English language acquisition
Darnell, Patricia (2012). Acculturation and Transformation among Female Immigrant Military Spouses in an ESL Learning Program at a Community College. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from