Bridging the Cultural Divide: Examining Immigrant Students' Experiences of Acculturation in Florida's Public Schools

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AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp. 51-63

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This exploratory qualitative study attempted to investigate how immigrant students in Florida’s K–12 schools acclimated. The study emphasizes the value of fostering a friendly and encouraging school climate for immigrant students since such climate can speed up their acculturation process and increase their academic and disciplinary achievement. Semi-structured interviews with 20 immigrant students from various cultural backgrounds gathered the data as part of the study's qualitative research design. The study population includes students who were born in different countries other than the US and who had attended Florida’s public schools for at least a year. According to the study’s findings, immigrant students experience a variety of difficulties connected to social separation, linguistic difficulties, and cultural alterations. On the other hand, the students also mention several advantages, including adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings, making new friends, and feeling more independent. The study adds to the body of knowledge on immigrant students’ acculturation experiences in the US, especially in K–12 institutions in Florida. The research results give educators, decision-makers, and academics new perspectives on how to better grasp the opportunities and difficulties faced by immigrant kids in the US K-12 educational system.

Keywords: immigrant students, acculturation, school climate, academic achievement.