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Gender Differences in Language Acquisition and Employment Consequences among Southeast Asian Refugees in Canada


  • Morton Beiser
  • Feng Hou


When they arrived in Canada, female Southeast Asian refugees were far less likely than males to speak English. The male linguistic advantage was still in evidence a decade later. Women had fewer opportunities than men to learn English during the post-migration period. Ironically, however, women benefited even more than their male counterparts from opportunities such as English as a second language (ESL) classes. English-language ability improved the likelihood of staying in the labour market. This effect was even stronger for women than for men. Resettlement policies must ensure unbiased opportunity to acquire the language of the receiving society.

Suggested Citation

  • Morton Beiser & Feng Hou, 2000. "Gender Differences in Language Acquisition and Employment Consequences among Southeast Asian Refugees in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(3), pages 311-330, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:26:y:2000:i:3:p:311-330

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-288, April.
    2. Beiser, Morton & Turner, R.Jay & Ganesan, Soma, 1989. "Catastrophic stress and factors affecting its consequences among Southeast Asian refugees," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 183-195, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. DeVoretz, Don J. & Pivnenko, Sergiy & Beiser, Morton, 2004. "The Economic Experiences of Refugees in Canada," IZA Discussion Papers 1088, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Beiser, Morton N.M.N. & Hou, Feng, 2006. "Ethnic identity, resettlement stress and depressive affect among Southeast Asian refugees in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 137-150, July.

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