Description: Every year many immigrant families become members of United States communities. Among these are international graduate students whose lives and identities, as well as those of their families, are changed as they negotiate between cultures and experiences. In this study, three Saudi graduate students share their stories about culture, education and literacy. This research employs narrative inquiry to answer the following question: What stories do Saudi immigrant students tell regarding their educational beliefs and experiences, as well as the experiences of their children in the U.S. and in Saudi Arabia? The participants' interview texts are the main data source. The three-dimensional narrative inquiry spaces of temporality, sociality, and place help identify the funds of knowledge in place throughout these narratives. Data analysis uses funds of knowledge as a theoretical lens to make visible the critical events in each narrative. These events point to themes that support the creation of a third space in which the participants negotiate being in two cultures as well as their storying across time to understand their own experiences. Themes of facing challenges, problem solving, adaptation, and decision-making connect these stories and support the discussion of findings within the personal, practical, and social justifications for this narrative inquiry. The participants' negotiation of being in two cultures as revealed here serves as a resource for educators in understanding the instructional needs of immigrant families. The findings also have the potential to contribute to changing existing misconceptions about this minority group and other immigrant groups. In a rapidly growing global community as the United States, such narratives provide insights that invite personal understandings and connections among diverse people.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Mirza, Hala