Attitudes, Behaviors, and the Longitudinal Impact of Social Justice Service-Learning for Language Learners

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


In recent years, service-learning (SL) has enjoyed a surge of popularity in language-learning classrooms, with a growing body of research focused on its use for developing social justice awareness in international English learners, in addition to providing opportunities for meaningful language use. This study explores the long-term impact of social justice SL for language learners to determine if a specific justice focus will result in long-term involvement or advocacy for disenfranchised and underserved populations. Through interviews with participants in a program enacted at a refugee resettlement center three years before time of writing, a cycle for actualizing social justice emerges to show participants’ shift, post-service, from awareness to critical consciousness and on to continued action, with individual differences as a factor in determining current attitudes and behaviors. It is then proposed that SL for language learners, implemented with education for social justice, can result in long-term impacts that prolong social justice engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning the Language of Global Citizenship: Strengthening Service-Learning in TESOL
EditorsJames Perren, Adrian Wurr
Place of PublicationChampaign, Illinois, USA
PublisherCommon Ground
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61229-815-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-61229-814-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • refugees
  • Service Learning
  • volunteers
  • English language
  • Social justice


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