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Immigrant Children's Age at Arrival and Assessment Results


  • Anthony Heath

    (University of Oxford)

  • Elina Kilpi-Jakonen



While a number of single-country studies have been done to explore whether or not there is a “critical age” at which the arrival in a new country becomes a steep disadvantage to the immigrant student, this study aims to determine whether the steepness of the age-at-arrival/test score profile varies across origin or destination countries. As expected, the later the arrival, the greater the penalty. However results vary according to several factors, including language differences and whether the country of origin had higher or lower educational standards. Evidence shows the importance of helping young migrants with language difficulties, as well as with the subsequent adverse effects of these difficulties. Tandis qu’un certain nombre d’études nationales ont été réalisées afin de déterminer s’il existe ou non un « âge critique » auquel l’arrivée dans un nouveau pays constitue un désavantage important pour les élèves immigrés, la présente étude tente d’analyser si le profil âge d’arrivée/résultats à l’évaluation varie en fonction du pays d’origine et du pays d’accueil. Comme escompté, plus l’arrivée est tardive, plus le désavantage est important. Les résultats varient cependant en fonction de plusieurs facteurs, notamment des différences linguistiques et du niveau (supérieur ou inférieur) des normes éducatives du pays d’origine. Les données recueillies montrent l’importance d’aider les jeunes migrants à faire face aux difficultés linguistiques auxquelles ils sont confrontés ainsi qu’aux effets négatifs qui peuvent en résulter.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Heath & Elina Kilpi-Jakonen, 2012. "Immigrant Children's Age at Arrival and Assessment Results," OECD Education Working Papers 75, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:eduaab:75-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarit Cohen Goldner & Gil Epstein, 2014. "Age at immigration and high school dropouts," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
    2. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:162-174 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Zlata Bruckauf & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2016. "Falling Behind: Socio-demographic profiles of educationally disadvantaged youth. Evidence from PISA 2000-2012," Papers inwopa837, Innocenti Working Papers.
    4. Sweetman, A. & van Ours, J.C., 2014. "Immigration : What About the Children and Grandchildren?," Discussion Paper 2014-009, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Adriana Di Liberto, 2015. "Length of stay in the host country and educational achievement of immigrant students: The Italian case," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(4), pages 585-618, July.

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