A Focused Ethnography Exploring the Experiences of Immigrant Parents' Collaboration with School Personnel to Support Their Child’s Reading Difficulty

  • Author / Creator
    Rashid, Sana
  • A strong partnership with immigrant parents can help educators better support students who experience reading difficulties related to complications arising from differing cultural, social, linguistic, and orthographic systems of their native language. Unfortunately, parental involvement is unequally distributed between families due to immigrant status (Baquendo-Lopez et al., 2013). When immigrant parents try to get involved, their efforts are often undervalued and unacknowledged due to a cultural disconnect between parents and school personnel (Baquendo-Lopez et al., 2013; Turney & Kao, 2009). Furthermore, they face numerous unique barriers that are unacknowledged in family-school partnership policies (Antony-Newman, 2019). Using focused ethnography, the current study aimed to understand and describe the lived experiences of immigrant parents’ involvement in supporting a child’s reading difficulty within the Canadian educational context. Criterion-based, purposeful sampling was utilized to select sample participants, and six participants were recruited to share their experiences related to collaborating with school personnel to support their child’s reading difficulty. Data was collected using in-depth, semi-structured interviews, which were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. The data was then subject to Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six-phase thematic analysis. Two broad themes were identified: (a) Factors that Influence Level of Immigrant Parental Involvement and (b) Immigrant Parents’ Supportive Literacy Practices. The findings revealed that participants were willing to collaborate with school personnel to support their child’s reading but faced numerous unique barriers to doing so. Nevertheless, all parents engaged in supportive reading practices that were influenced by their cultural and social experiences in both Canada and their native country. This study contributes to the development of inclusive and culturally responsive family-school partnership policies for supporting the reading difficulties of immigrant students.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.