Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Dr. Katina Pollock


Transition in school is an inherent function of each student’s educational experience. However, newcomer youth face unique transitional challenges. This qualitative study was conducted to answer how Ontario educational policies shape the transition of newcomer youth. A critical discourse analysis was used to analyze practical guides and policy texts, framed through critical policy sociology and critical pedagogy. Findings illustrated that a fractured policy landscape exists, where there is a heavy emphasis on literacy, language development, and language acquisition for newcomer youth, but there remains a lack of policies to support a more holistic transition. Dominant policy discourses serve to construct newcomer youth through policy definitions of newcomers and power structures. Suggestions have been made for policymakers, administration, schools, and teachers. This research contributes insight into how current policies reproduce socio-economic and cultural norms and illustrates the importance of moving beyond English language learner curriculum to targeted transition policy for newcomer youth.