Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education



Lydiah Kananu Kiramba

Patriann Smith

Date of this Version



Lydiah Kananu Kiramba, Alex Kumi-Yeboah, Patriann Smith & Anthony Mawuli Sallar (2021): Cultural and linguistic experiences of immigrant youth: voices of African immigrant youth in United States Urban Schools, Multicultural Education Review, DOI: 10.1080/2005615X.2021.1890312


Copyright © 2021 Korean Association for Multicultural Education; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


This study explores experiences of 50 culturally and linguistically diverse African immigrant students attending public urban middle and high schools in the US. Drawing on in-depth interviews, and through constant comparison analysis, emerging findings highlight pedagogical, linguistic, and curricular variation struggles in the classroom; transitional contextual challenges; cultural mismatch; miscommunication, and stereotypes. In light of these experiences, African immigrant urban youth draw on familial, navigational and aspirational capital to resist stereotypical assumptions and to develop resilient skills necessary to navigate the inherent challenges. Findings underscore the importance of appreciating ways of knowing that deviate from the host country knowledges as instrumental to meeting the instructional needs of African immigrant students in United States schools.