Cultural influence and language acquisition of a Syrian immigrant girl in Alabama


  • Shushanik Vardanyan University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • James M. Ernest University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Fran Perkins University of Alabama at Birmingham



culture adaptation, immigrants, home visits, bronfenbrenner, funds of knowledge, language acquisition


Using ethnography and case study approaches from qualitative methodology, this study examined a Syrian immigrant child’s language acquisition and culture adaptation in the United States. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with the teachers and the mother of the child, participant observations during home visits, and field notes during classroom observations. The child’s culture and language learning were conceptualized through the lens of Bronfenbrenner’s (1994) ecological model and Funds of Knowledge approach to education (Ferreiro & Teberosky, 1985). The article documented factors that facilitated and negatively impacted on her process of becoming bilingual and her cultural adaptation after moving to an English speaking country. Implications for fostering a better school and home relationship was discussed.


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How to Cite

Vardanyan, S., Ernest, J. M., & Perkins, F. (2018). Cultural influence and language acquisition of a Syrian immigrant girl in Alabama. Southeast Asia Early Childhood Journal, 7, 42–51.