Amir Michalovich

Language and literacy education of youth refugees
Kiryat Ono

Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

My decision to pursue a graduate degree is rooted both in my longtime interest in the study of youth multiliteracies, and in my future career goals. Pursuing a graduate degree, especially at UBC, will allow me to attain an expertise in the study of multimodality in education, particularly the ways in which multimodal meaning-making can facilitate immigrant and refugee students' engagement and integration in school learning. Through my PhD studies I also intend to form an empirically-based theoretical framework for enacting change in educational policy, that will nevertheless provide flexible routes for application in diverse contexts. Consistently keeping in mind these complementary goals, I aspire to make use of my doctoral studies by paying forward the success of my own growth as a student, teacher and scholar.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

Through my work as an independent filmmaker, research project manager, teacher, as well as mentor for community-based filmmaking groups, I became fascinated by the promise of inquiry-based learning, rooted in multimodal composition, for youth education. My motivation to study how this process works, its links to multimodal, synaesthetic meaning-making, its considerable potential for multilingual education, and the ways in which its endorsement might elevate the education of diverse learners, has led me to pursue doctoral studies in Literacy Education at UBC.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

Aspiring to expand my studies of youth multiliteracies where they are needed most, I have taken a special interest in refugee youth. In Canada scholarly attention to the particular needs of this group is growing, especially in utilizing numerous communication modes and inquiry-based approaches to incorporate their cultural and linguistic diversity. What attracted me most to the program was the potential of contributing to such research endeavors as part of Professors Maureen Kendrick and Margaret Early's research project: "Language and literacy learning among youth refugees in Canadian secondary school classrooms."