Immigrant & Refugee Integration


Each year the United States accepts hundreds of thousands of newcomers, either as immigrants or refugees. Recent arrivals often have very specific language needs, as well as orientation and resettlement needs.

Given opportunity, newcomers become significant contributors to our society, sharing linguistic and cultural assets, as well as innovative ideas, entrepreneurial skills, and drive, all of which make our communities stronger.

CAL has been a leader in refugee education and orientation since 1975. We have been helping immigrant and refugee newcomers understand fundamental aspects of life in the United States, as well as helping service providers and other interested parties understand the backgrounds, cultures, and linguistic heritage of the new members of their communities. In addition, CAL has a long history of conducting research and developing strategies for educational success for immigrants across a wide range of ages and language proficiency levels. Building on this legacy, several of CAL’s projects and resources are designed to support the implementation of programs for immigrant students.

CAL is committed to making longer-term Americans aware of the resources and values brought to the United States by its newest residents. We have a key role to play as discussion of the contributions of immigrants to our society is elevated to a prominent role in our national discourse.

To learn more about CAL's work and resources about this topic, browse the subtopics within this section.


Welcoming School Communities

CAL is collaborating with Welcoming America on the Welcoming School Communities pilot project designed to engage school communities in the creation of a more welcoming climate for newcomers.

Cultural Orientation Resource (COR) Center


The Cultural Orientation Resource (COR) Center, housed at CAL from 2000 to 2015, provided technical assistance regarding the cultural and community orientation refugees receive, either before their resettlement in the United States or after their arrival, as well as about their likely resettlement needs.

Bienvenidos Project

CAL provided technical assistance to the National Council of La Raza to provide vital services to NCLR’s network of affiliate organizations.

The Linking Communities Project: Building Welcome for Refugees

CAL's Immigrant and Refugee Integration team is working in partnership with HIAS and several other agencies on this pilot project, supported by the J.M. Kaplan Fund, to facilitate the creation of linkages between refugees and receiving communities.


Making Your Way: A Reception and Placement Orientation Curriculum

Making Your Way: A Reception and Placement Orientation Curriculum

This comprehensive curriculum is designed to equip refugee service providers with an effective and efficient approach to orientation. Orientation is part of a package of mandated core resettlement services provided for newly arrived refugees during the Reception and Placement (R&P) period, a refugee’s first 30 to 90 days in the United States.


CAL offers a wide range of professional development and technical assistance services for service providers, schools, and communities working with newcomer populations. Based on our decades of experience, CAL can customize our services to meet your needs and budgets.

Email CAL to learn more.

Service Spotlight: New CAL Institute

Newcomers in Your School: Cultural Connections and Instructional Strategies
December 6-7, 2016 Washington, DC
Given the increasing tide of newcomer youth entering U.S. schools, it is critical to address the cultural, social, and academic needs of these students and their families. CAL offers professional development that includes practical resources for building a welcoming environment, both socially and instructionally, for all students.

This institute is designed for PreK-12 teachers, administrators, and practitioners, such as social workers, counselors, and after-school specialists, who work in educational settings with newcomer students and their families. CAL encourages teams of educators and practitioners to attend. 

Learn more about this institute.

Professional Development Services

CAL can also offer this workshop onsite at your location.
Learn more

News & Events

Educating America’s Emerging Multilingual Learners: Congressional Briefing

12:00 - 1:00pm

The Center for Applied Linguistics presents to members of the House and Senate on issues pertaining to the state of K-12 English Language Learners in this country. Speakers will include Dr. Keira Ballantyne, Peggy McLeod, EdD, Gabriela Uro, and Dr. Eugene García. Invitation-only.