Degree Name

Master of Arts (Hons.)


Department of Education


Social adaptation in Australia of immigrants from Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea has been investigated, with particular reference to schools. Of specific concern was evaluation of how the immigrants (especially the children) were being equipped to deal with the cultural and social expectations and the competition involved in Australian community life. An empirical investigation was carried out involving 65 Indo-Chinese children in infants/primary schools in Wollongong, N.S.W.f the children necessarily being studied in the context of their families. English language ability, cognitive development, and academic and social progress were analysed to assess the children's performance in terms of the demands of Australian school environments. Results highlighted the implications^ for the children's long-term adaptation^ of a lack of proficiency in English communication, notwithstanding strong abilities in other areas. The influence on social adaptation of traditional cultural patterns and values, family structure and attitudes, learning styles, and communication, were established as particularly important areas for attention by educational planners. Greater knowledge about such issues is likely to assist the development of more effective educational opportunities for Indo-Chinese children, and may help produce positive outcomes for the adaptation process of the children and their families.