Abstract 454

In search for home: Family Literacy Practices among Iranian Refugee and Immigrant Families

Presentation:  Mahshwid Ghaffartehrani

Session A | 9:00 – 9:40 | Location: Room 1003


This presentation focuses on a qualitative case study on family literacy practices in an Iranian refugee family and an Iranian immigrant family, both with a young child (aged between 6-9), in Canada. This study addresses a gap in the research on Iranian minority family literacy practices, and draws attention to refugees’ and immigrants’ different family literacy practices, considering Ogbu’s differentiation between voluntary/involuntary migration. To support my argument, I draw on Iranian immigrant and refugee families’ first language (L1)/second language (L2) (English, Persian) perceptions, beliefs, needs, resources, barriers, and expectations for addressing their children’s early literacy development/learning.
Theoretical frameworks included the sociocultural theories of literacy and literacy as a social practice. Data were gathered through participant observation, field notes, informal conversations, two semi-structured interviews, and collection of artifacts (samples of writings, readings, crafts, etc.). The analysis included analyzing emerging patterns through coding, creating memos and thematic analysis (LeCompte & Schensul, 1999) with the focus on family literacy practices. It was found that, both the refugee and the immigrant children shared various literacy practices that were shaped in their social communities by their peers and teachers at school. However, these families differed significantly based on their migration status (e.g., voluntary or involuntarily migration). I develop this differences in terms of their home literacy practices which were directed by parents and shaped by the families’ literacy practices across time, space, and social position (e.g., gender, age, religion, power). The findings of this study have implications for future research and early educational system.
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