Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education
“It’s Like They Don’t Recognize What I Bring to the Classroom”: African Immigrant Youths’ Multilingual and Multicultural Navigation in United States Schools
Lydiah Kananu Kiramba http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0231-4711
Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 2020, 16p.
Discourses of African immigrant children are rare in educational research. As such, African immigrant educational experiences are often obscured (in part, owing to the model minority myth about Africans based on higher education degrees received by African immigrants), as well as the actual experiences and realities for African immigrant K-12 students. This qualitative study examines cross-cultural educational experiences of 30 Black African immigrant youth in U.S. schools. The findings reveal multiple participants’ struggles with cultural and linguistic differences, stereotypes and marginalization in the school environment, low expectations from teachers, and adjusting to new schooling practices. The African youths’ voices exhibited development of resilience and navigation skills. Drawing on Alim and Paris’ culturally sustaining model, we propose recommendations and pedagogical implications for preparing globally competent teachers and teacher educators enabled and empowered to teach all twenty-first-century citizens, including African immigrants.
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education Commons, Curriculum and Instruction Commons, Teacher Education and Professional Development Commons
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