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Forgotten refugees : understanding the language and literacy practices of Afghan refugees in Pakistan Sadiq, Assadullah 2020

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FORGOTTEN REFUGEES: UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE AND LITERACY PRACTICES OF AFGHAN REFUGEES IN PAKISTAN by  Assadullah Sadiq  B.A., Northeastern University, 2012 M.A., University of Massachusetts, Boston, 2013  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Language and Literacy Education)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   October, 2020  © Assadullah Sadiq, 2020 ii  The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for acceptance, the dissertation entitled:  FORGOTTEN REFUGEES: UNDERSTANDING THE LANGUAGE AND LITERACY PRACTICES OF AFGHAN REFUGEES IN PAKISTAN  submitted by Assadullah Sadiq  in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy In Language and Literacy Education  Examining Committee: Dr. Jim Anderson, Professor, Language and Literacy Education, UBC Supervisor  Dr. Marianne McTavish, Professor of Teaching, Language and Literacy Education, UBC Co-supervisor  Dr. Marlene Asselin, Associate Professor, Language and Literacy Education, UBC Supervisory Committee Member Dr. Bonny Norton, Professor, Language and Literacy Education, UBC University Examiner Dr. Samson Nashon, Professor, Curriculum and Pedagogy, UBC University Examiner     iii  Abstract Most refugees arriving in permanent resettlement countries, such as Canada, come from first asylum countries, or countries that refugees move to first to escape the crisis in their homelands. Refugees arrive in permanent resettlement countries with various educational experiences and these pre-settlement educational experiences have largely remained undocumented, a phenomenon Dryden-Peterson described as a “black box” (2016, p. 131). In light of this gap, the purpose of this study was to document the language and literacy practices of young Afghan refugees in Pakistan in their homes, at school, and in their community, and to describe their parents’/guardians’ beliefs about language and literacy. Informed by sociocultural theory and Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory, this qualitative study used ethnographic methods and focused on four Afghan refugee children and their families over five months. Language and literacy events were observed and analyzed using Miles, Huberman, and Saldaña’s (2014) procedure for qualitative research. Findings showed the children spoke Pashto at home but used Urdu and Pashto in the community. At school, the children spoke English, Urdu, and Pashto, but reading and writing were only taught in English and Urdu. The children participated in various literacy activities at home, including engaging in storytelling and practicing religious supplications. The female children were successful in their schoolwork and, with some assistance, could read and write in Urdu and English. The male children, however, could not complete most assignments that required them to read and write in English or Urdu independently and relied on their classmates, teachers, and resources (e.g., posters) to complete those assignments. In the community, the female children tutored others with schoolwork, Quranic reading, or religious supplications. The male children attended Quranic lessons to practice Arabic words to prepare for reading the Quran. Parents/guardians valued literacy and iv  languages highly. Many believed that reading allowed one to see and that literacy instilled manners in one. This study enhances our understanding of the literacy practices of one of the largest refugee groups in the world, about which little is known. Specifically, insights about their literacy and language practices as they relate to codeswitching or translanguaging, and literacy brokering are revealed.  v  Lay Summary This study focused on four Afghan refugee children and families to explore how language and literacy was used in their homes, at school, and in the community. The study also documented the parents’ and guardians’ beliefs about language and literacy. The families greatly valued literacy and language. All families spoke their first language at home and encouraged their children to learn other languages. Literacy practices in the home included engaging in storytelling and learning religious supplications. School instruction was in English and Urdu. The female participants succeeded in school while the male participants struggled. In the community, the children spoke Urdu and Pashto and their literacy included lessons on the Quran or Quran primer and tutoring children from the community. This study offers an example of how four refugee children and their families practiced language and literacy at home, at school, and in the community.  vi  Preface This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author, A. Sadiq. The fieldwork reported in Chapters 4-6 was covered by UBC Ethics Certificate number H17-01358.  vii  Table of Contents Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary .................................................................................................................................v Preface ........................................................................................................................................... vi Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................ vii List of Tables ................................................................................................................................xv List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. xvi Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................... xvii Dedication .....................................................................................................................................xx Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study...........................................................................................1 Rationale for the Study ............................................................................................................... 3 Context ........................................................................................................................................ 5 Purpose and Research Questions ................................................................................................ 8 Purpose .................................................................................................................................... 8 Research Questions ................................................................................................................. 9 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................................ 9 Outline of the Dissertation ........................................................................................................ 11 Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework and Literature Review ....................................................12 Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................................. 12 Sociocultural Theory ............................................................................................................. 12 Bioecological Theory ............................................................................................................ 14 Literature Review...................................................................................................................... 18 Refugees ................................................................................................................................ 18 viii  Refugees’ Educational Experiences and Language and Literacy Practices in Countries of First Asylum ...................................................................................................................................... 20 Understanding Students’ Experiences .................................................................................. 20 Language Barriers ................................................................................................................. 23 Refugee Children and Work ................................................................................................. 25 Safety and Wellbeing ............................................................................................................ 26 Refugees’ Educational Experiences and Language and Literacy Practices in Countries of Permanent Settlement ............................................................................................................... 28 Cultural Mismatch and Understanding Students’ Backgrounds ........................................... 29 Curriculum and Pedagogy Mismatch.................................................................................... 31 Importance of the Dominant Language ................................................................................ 32 Children as Literacy Supporters ............................................................................................ 35 Storytelling Practices ............................................................................................................ 36 Gender and Refugees’ Academic Performance .................................................................... 39 Summary ................................................................................................................................... 41 Chapter 3: Research Methodology .............................................................................................43 Research Design ........................................................................................................................ 43 Rationale ............................................................................................................................... 43 Setting ....................................................................................................................................... 44 Location of the Study ............................................................................................................ 44 Selection of the School ......................................................................................................... 46 The Afghan School ............................................................................................................... 47 The School’s Ethos ............................................................................................................ 49 ix  Personal Biography ................................................................................................................... 50 Selection and Description of the Participants ........................................................................... 51 Selection of the Participants .................................................................................................. 51 The Participants .................................................................................................................... 54 Safa Noor and her Family................................................................................................. 54       Living Conditions. ...................................................................................................... 55     Seemena Angar and Her Family ....................................................................................... 56       Living Conditions ....................................................................................................... 57     Harun Sabr and His Family .............................................................................................. 57       Living Conditions ....................................................................................................... 58     Arman Khushal and His Family ....................................................................................... 59       Living Conditions. ...................................................................................................... 60 Staff Participants from the Afghan School ........................................................................ 60 Data Collection ......................................................................................................................... 62 Interviews .............................................................................................................................. 64 Interviews with the Focal Children ................................................................................... 65 Interviews with the Parents and Guardians ...................................................................... 66 Interviews with the Staff at the Afghan School ................................................................. 67 Interview with the Mosque Teacher .................................................................................. 69 Observational Fieldnotes ...................................................................................................... 69 Role of the Researcher ...................................................................................................... 72 Reflection Journal ................................................................................................................. 73 Photos of Artefacts ................................................................................................................ 74 x  Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................ 76 Transcribing and Collating the Data ..................................................................................... 76 Deductive Coding ................................................................................................................. 78 Procedure for Data Analysis ................................................................................................. 81 Data Condensation ........................................................................................................... 82 Data Display ..................................................................................................................... 82 Drawing Conclusions ....................................................................................................... 83 First Cycle and Second Cycle Coding .................................................................................. 83 Further Analysis .................................................................................................................... 90 Interpretation and Verification of Findings .......................................................................... 96 Trustworthiness of the Study .................................................................................................... 99 Credibility ............................................................................................................................. 99 Transferability ..................................................................................................................... 101 Dependability ...................................................................................................................... 101 Confirmability ..................................................................................................................... 102 Application .......................................................................................................................... 103 Summary ................................................................................................................................. 105 Chapter 4: Language and Literacy in the Female Focal Children’s Lives ..........................106 Focal Child: Safa Noor ........................................................................................................... 107 Safa’s Language Practices at Home .................................................................................... 108 Safa’s Language Practices at School .................................................................................. 109 Safa’s Teachers’ Views on Learning and Speaking Pashto at School ................................ 114 Safa’s Language Practices in the Community .................................................................... 116 xi  Safa’s Literacy Practices at Home ...................................................................................... 117 Safa’s Literacy Practices at School ..................................................................................... 121 Safa’s Literacy Practices in the Community ....................................................................... 125 Safa’s Father’s Beliefs about Language and Literacy ........................................................ 127 Sajjad’s Beliefs about Language .................................................................................... 127 Sajjad’s Beliefs about Literacy ....................................................................................... 129 Focal Child: Seemena Angar .................................................................................................. 130 Seemena’s Language Practices at Home ............................................................................ 131 Seemena’s Language Practices at School ........................................................................... 132 Seemena’s and Her Teachers’ Views on Learning and Speaking Pashto at School ........... 134 Seemena’s Language Practices in the Community ............................................................. 137 Seemena’s Literacy Practices at Home ............................................................................... 138 Seemena’s Literacy Practices at School ............................................................................. 143 Seemena’s Literacy Practices in the Community ............................................................... 147 Seemena’s Father’s Beliefs about Language and Literacy ................................................. 150 Dawud’s Beliefs about Language ................................................................................... 150 Dawud’s Beliefs about Literacy ...................................................................................... 152 Summary ................................................................................................................................. 154 Chapter 5: Language and Literacy in the Male Focal Children’s Lives ..............................156 Focal Child: Harun Sabr ......................................................................................................... 156 Harun’s Language Practices at Home ................................................................................. 157 Harun’s Language Practices at School ............................................................................... 158 Harun’s and his Teachers’ Views on Learning and Speaking Pashto at School ................ 163 xii  Harun’s Language Practices in the Community ................................................................. 166 Harun’s Literacy Practices at Home ................................................................................... 169 Harun’s Literacy Practices at School .................................................................................. 173 Harun’s Literacy Practices in the Community .................................................................... 182 Harun’s Guardian’s Beliefs about Language and Literacy ................................................. 184 Habeebullah’s Beliefs about Language .......................................................................... 184 Habeebullah’s Beliefs about Literacy ............................................................................. 189 Focal Child: Arman Khushal .................................................................................................. 192 Arman’s Language Practices at Home ................................................................................ 193 Arman’s Language Practices at School .............................................................................. 194 Arman’s and his Teacher’s Views on Learning and Speaking Pashto at School ............... 199 Arman’s Language Practices in the Community ................................................................ 202 Arman’s Literacy Practices at Home .................................................................................. 203 Arman’s Literacy Practices at School ................................................................................. 207 Arman’s Literacy Practices in the Community ................................................................... 215 Arman’s Father’s Beliefs about Language and Literacy .................................................... 217 Arian’s Beliefs about Language...................................................................................... 217 Arian’s Beliefs about Literacy ........................................................................................ 223 Summary ................................................................................................................................. 226 Chapter 6: Discussion and Conclusion ....................................................................................230 Discussion of Findings ............................................................................................................ 231 Focal Children’s Literacy Practices and Parents’/Guardians’ Support for Literacy ........... 231 Focal Children’s Language Practices and Parents’/Guardians’ Support for Language(s) . 236 xiii  Focal Children’s Contradictory Views of Language(s) ...................................................... 238 Differences in the Focal Children’s Literacy Activities and Events ................................... 242 Language and Literacy Activities at the Afghan School .................................................... 247 Revisiting the Theoretical Framework .................................................................................... 248 Revisiting the Literature Review ............................................................................................ 257 Implications............................................................................................................................. 259 For Policymakers ................................................................................................................ 259 Supporting Refugees’ Education in First Asylum Countries .......................................... 259 Support for Refugees’ First Language Maintenance and Development ......................... 260 Supporting Teachers Through Professional Development ............................................. 261 For Teachers........................................................................................................................ 262 Learning From One Another .......................................................................................... 262 Learning from Parents/Guardians .................................................................................. 263 Understanding Literacies................................................................................................ 266 For Families ........................................................................................................................ 267 Limitations of the Study.......................................................................................................... 267 Future Research ...................................................................................................................... 268 Concluding Comments............................................................................................................ 269 References ...................................................................................................................................271 Appendices ..................................................................................................................................292 Appendix A ............................................................................................................................. 292 A.1 Parent’s/Guardian’s Consent Form .............................................................................. 292 A.2 Child Assent Form ....................................................................................................... 297 xiv  A.3 Teachers’ Consent Form .............................................................................................. 299 A.4 School Security Guard Consent Form ......................................................................... 302 A.5 School Founder Consent Form .................................................................................... 305 Appendix B ............................................................................................................................. 308 B.1 Interview Questions with Parent/Guardian .................................................................. 308 B.2 Interview Questions with Child .................................................................................... 314 B.3 Interview Questions with Teachers .............................................................................. 318 B.4 Interview Questions with School Security Guard ........................................................ 323 B.5 Interview Questions with School Founder ................................................................... 325 Appendix C: Data Collection Table ........................................................................................ 328 xv   List of Tables Table 3.1 Data Collection ............................................................................................................. 63 Table 3.2 Photos Collected for this Study and Where They Were Taken .................................... 75 Table 3.3 Conceptual Matrix of Codes ......................................................................................... 81 Table 5.1 Examples of Arabic Letters ........................................................................................ 204  xvi  List of Figures Figure 2.1 Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Model ....................................................................... 15 Figure 4.1 The First Prayer or Kalima ........................................................................................ 118 Figure 4.2 A Page of Safa's Dua Book ....................................................................................... 120 Figure 4.3 Make Sentences Exercises in Urdu ........................................................................... 122 Figure 4.4 Make Sentences Exercises in English ....................................................................... 122 Figure 4.5 Safa Writing a Sentences about a Class Field Trip ................................................... 125 Figure 4.6 A Picture from Seemena's Salah (Prayer) Book ........................................................ 140 Figure 5.1 Harun on the Job: Taking Care of the Cows ............................................................. 167 Figure 5.2 Harun's Assignment with Teacher's Corrections ....................................................... 175 Figure 5.3 Pardes' Creative Writing "Night Scene" Assignment ................................................ 178 Figure 5.4 Harun's Creative Writing "Night Scene" Assignment ............................................... 178 Figure 5.5 Arman's Completed Worksheet from his Urdu Literacy Lesson .............................. 210 Figure 5.6 Arman's Writing of Flower Names in English .......................................................... 213 Figure 5.7 Arman's Writing of Flower Names in Urdu .............................................................. 213 Figure 6.1 Store Sign in Brishna ................................................................................................. 256        xvii  Acknowledgements First and foremost, I thank Allah Almighty for instilling a thirst for knowledge in my heart and for allowing me to tell the world about my people and their assets. Thank you, Allah, for everything. Without your support and love, I would have never reached this milestone.  Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reminds me that, “He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah” (Hadith 39, Book 43). The successfully completion of a thesis requires a number of dedicated people who believe in the research wholeheartedly. I wish to thank the school founder who willing and happily allowed me to conduct the research at her school. Thank you for all that you did to help me, may Allah reward you. I also thank the participants in this study. Without them, this thesis would cease to be. They welcomed me into their lives and trusted me with their stories and glimpses of their lives. I thank them from the bottom of my heart and will remember them as the most resilient people I have known. Dera, dera mannana! I am grateful and blessed to have had Dr. Jim Anderson and Dr. Marianne McTavish as co-supervisors. Dr. Jim, I do not know where to begin but I know for sure that you will leave a lasting impression on my life. It has been an honor to learn from you. You have taught me that research and putting it into practice can go hand in hand through your work with PALS (Parents as Literacy Supporters). Moreover, beside your research, the way you approach teaching is something that I have never experienced from other professors. The dedication with which you approached teaching was nothing short of amazing. For instance, the detailed comments on our papers caught many of us students by surprise. I would count myself successful if I am half as good as you at teaching and research. I will miss the many, many conversations I have had over xviii  the years with you in your office and as we walked to a coffee shop. Thank you for all that you have done for me, I really appreciate it.  Dr. Marianne, thank you for your wisdom and support throughout the program. You pushed me to think critically about my work and how it is situated in the world. You reminded me to think carefully about the biases I brought into the research and ways to limit these. At the same time, you helped me acknowledge that my lens was limited and has been shaped by own experiences of being educated in the USA and Canadian contexts. I believe these kinds of insights helped me to work effectively with the participants and allowed me to continuously remind myself that I am a learner. Thank you for your quiet wisdom throughout the years. I will continue to think of you when I need to push myself beyond my comfort zone. Thank you also to committee member Dr. Marlene Asselin. Dr. Marlene, having you in the committee enriched my research and knowledge. You often asked me to search deeper and to continue asking questions in order to gain a more comprehensive understanding of a subject matter. Similarly, you inspired me with your work with libraries in Ethiopia and I hope one day to do similar work in Afghanistan. Thank you for inspiring me and for never holding back your compliments to me. You helped me set higher standards for myself. It has been an honor learning from you.  Thank you also to the university examiners Dr. Bonny Norton and Dr. Samson Nashon. Drs. Bonny and Samson, it was a privilege to have you both on the committee; thank you for the honor. I also thank Dr. Sharon Murphy, the external examiner. Dr. Sharon, thank you especially for your close reading of the thesis and the detailed comments you left on the merits of the scholarship and suggestions for improvements. I really appreciate your level of attention and dedication to the thesis.  xix  I also thank the Public Scholars Initiative (PSI) and Faculty of Education at UBC. Thank you, PSI, for reminding me that my research matters and for supporting me financially. This support lifted a weight off my shoulders and allowed me to focus optimally on my research. Thank you also to the Faculty of Education at UBC: I am truly blessed to have learned as a student within a faculty that is dedicated to literacy and language education. Your dedication to teaching and research makes UBC a wonderful place to learn and grow. Within my family, I am most thankful to my father. Baba, your support for my PhD and work with Afghan refugees will forever be a reminder of your love for education. I feel as if you were a co-student with me in this program. You reminded me to get up early, go to the library, and be dedicated to my studies at a time when I needed it most. Dera mannena for your support. May Allah give you a long and healthy life, Ameen.  Lastly, I thank the people around me, including my cohort: Margaret McKeon, Carl Ruest, Zhuo Sun, Jun Ma, Adam Vincent, Natalia Archacka, and Youngeun Jee. Zhuo, thank you for considering me your “sweet burden” as I bothered you and asked you question after question. Margaret, thank you for the beautiful conversations and amazing long walks!  Due to lack of space, I wish to thank all those who have in one way or another supported me. Thank you and may the way be bright for you! xx  Dedication  To the Afghan refugees: The bravest and the most resilient people that I have ever known •    To the victims of current genocides (while the world stays silent): The Uighur Muslims in China The Rohingya people in Myanmar The Darfurians in Sudan •     To my father, Abdul Aziz Sadiq: I will never forget your support for my PhD.  •    To Dr. Jim Anderson: Thank you for your 30 years of teaching and research. You enriched the literature on language and literacy and impacted many students through your teaching.   1  Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study  . . . . i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark home is the barrel of the gun and no one would leave home unless home chased you to the shore unless home told you to quicken your legs leave your clothes behind crawl through the desert wade through the oceans drown save be hunger beg forget pride your survival is more important no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear saying- leave, run away from me now i dont know what i’ve become but i know that anywhere is safer than here (Warsan Shire, 2013)  Early in the afternoon of January 5, 2020, I sat in a Starbucks in Boston, enjoying a cup of coffee while I revisited Shire’s (2013) poem. Reading the poem reminded me of the difficulties many refugees encounter as they leave their homeland because of issues, such as war, conflict, famine, and persecution. At present, wars and genocide (such as the Darfuris in Sudan, and the persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar) are happening in various countries around the world. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 2  website, “We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record” (UNHCR, 2020). The UNHCR (2020) website reported that 70.8 million people have been forced to leave their homes for reasons such as war and persecution. More than 41 million of them have been displaced internally within their countries, while 25.9 million are refugees who have left their countries of origin, and 3.5 million are asylum seekers who have migrated to countries such as Australia and Germany. Of the 25.9 million refugees, half are under the age of 18.   Shire’s poem deeply resonated with me. As a former refugee, it reminded me of the Afghanistan of my childhood where I was regularly woken at night by my mother to run to the basement because rockets were being fired above our apartment in Kabul. I also remembered playing on discarded military tanks, (remnants of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that lasted from 1979-1989) with other neighbourhood children. And painfully, my mind flashed to the faces of my relatives who had been lost to the unending wars in Afghanistan.  Despite the historic number of displaced people, few studies of refugees’ experiences have included young refugees, such as children between one and 11 years old, (e.g., Chatty & Crivello, 2005; Chatty et al., 2010; Hampshire et al., 2008; Hinton, 2000; Lowiciki & Pillsbury, 2004). Indeed, even fewer studies focus on the language and literacy education of young refugees (Crivello, Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, & Chatty, 2005; Zeus, 2011). This study contributes to closing this gap by examining the language and literacy experiences of elementary school-aged Afghan refugee children and their families living in Pakistan.   3  Rationale for the Study In this study, I document and examine the language and literacy activities and events that four children and their families engaged in at home, at school, and the community in their country of first asylum. First asylum countries are countries that refugees move to first to escape the crisis in their homeland before moving to their permanent resettlement country. Many Afghan refugees, for example, first move to Pakistan or Iran, before being resettled in countries such as Australia, Canada, or the United States. At the same time, while Pakistan is a country of first asylum, a number of Afghan refugees end up spending many years there. Khan’s (2014) report, for example, signaled that for some Afghan refugees, Pakistan becomes a permanent resettlement country, but without gaining citizenship status. However, in 2018, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he would consider providing Afghan refugees with citizenship, but this suggestion drew criticism from the country’s politicians and the topic has since been set aside.  Most refugees resettled in permanent resettlement countries come with various educational experiences, although their pre-settlement educational experiences remain relatively undocumented (Dryden-Peterson, 2016). Dryden-Peterson (2016) described this situation as a “black box” (p. 131) to highlight the “absence of reporting in these countries [of first asylum] on where or if refugees find education” (Uptin, Wright, & Harwood, 2013, p. 603). Literature on refugees’ education mostly focuses on refugee families and children at the time of their arrival in their permanent host country (e.g., Canada, the United States). Although studies focused on refugees’ post settlement education have provided important insights, they have also provided a relatively narrow and incomplete view of refugee educational experiences. This restricted view can potentially lead educators to make assumptions about refugee children’s abilities and 4  mischaracterize the trauma and struggles that refugees experience during pre-settlement. For example, in Roy and Roxas’ (2011) study of Somali refugees’ educational experiences, educators and social workers at an elementary school in Texas complained about the aggressive behavior displayed by the Bantu students. They attributed this behavior to “issues at home” (p. 528), despite the fact that none of the school staff could provide specific information that connected the behavior to the students’ experiences at home. The teachers did not recognize that children who have experienced trauma often cope with stressful experiences by using aggressive behavior (Davies & Webb, 2000; Shaw, 2003; Suárez-Orozco & Robben, 2000). Furthermore, factors such as stereotyping, language barriers, cultural differences, and misunderstandings can impact the perception of teachers in post-settlement countries (Bigelow, 2010; McBrien, 2011; Taylor & Sidhu, 2012). This lack of awareness and knowledge on the part of teachers has “implications for the continued educational experiences of refugee children upon resettlement” (Dryden-Peterson, 2016, p. 133). Teachers need to understand refugee children’s pre-settlement educational experiences in order to meet their academic and psychosocial needs (Dryden-Peterson, 2015). Although some refugee children enter school in their permanent resettlement country, others attend it in their country of origin and in their country of first asylum. Most Afghan refugees resettled in countries such as in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States first found asylum in Pakistan; however there has been no research (that I am aware of) documenting the educational contexts, and language and literacy activities that Afghan children engaged in while living there. The dearth of knowledge about pre-settlement experiences as they pertain to language and literacy learning and development of refugee children has led scholars to call for a fuller, more nuanced understanding (Dryden-Peterson, 2016; Gahungu, Gahungu, & Luseno, 2011; Isik-Ercan, 2012; Prior & Niesz, 2013). 5  Context Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Asia that shares borders with Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China. The capital city is Kabul, a metropolitan city bordered by several provinces, including Wardak, Paktia, and Laghman. The current population of the country is 35 million. The country has two official languages: Pashto and Dari. Afghanistan is home to a number of ethnic groups, including Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, Aimaks, Balochs, and others.  Pashtuns form the largest ethnic group and comprise about 42 percent of the Afghan population. They speak Pashto and follow a unique way of living known as Pashtunwali, which is a “code of life” (Khan, 2002, p. 469) that includes values such as hospitality, courage, giving shelter to the one who asks for it (including an enemy), and revenge (unless the aggressor asks for pardon). Some rules of Pashtunwali have sometimes been used to limit the opportunities for education, specifically for girls. However, this situation seems to be changing and many Pashtuns no longer abide by aspects of this practice that contradicts Islamic principles. Islam plays a major role in the lives of Pashtun people, including in their traditions and customs. The other 58 percent of the Afghan population, although comprised of a number of different ethnic groups, typically speak Dari. Although the constitution declares that Afghans be fluent in both Pashto and Dari, this is not always the case. Despite the language differences, Pashtuns share several similarities with the other ethnicities. For example, with the exception of the Hazaras (the majority of whom are Shia Muslims) the Tajiks, Uzbeks, Aimaks, and Balochs are predominantly Sunni Muslims, like the Pashtuns.  For much of modern history, war and conflicts in Afghanistan have limited children’s access to education, with the exception of religious schools for males. However, between 2002 6  and 2019, primary school enrollment in Afghanistan increased from one million to 8.5 million (UNICEF, 2019). Despite these gains, Afghanistan continues to have one of the lowest literacy rates in the world (Hervé, 2018; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, [UNESCO], 2017). According to UNICEF (2019), violence, poverty and drought are the main barriers to children’s access to education in Afghanistan. Furthermore, almost 1,000 schools have remained closed as a security measure because of the potential of attacks. These issues have resulted in almost 3.7 million Afghan children not attending school. The ongoing conflict has also placed them at risk of injury and exposed them to violence (UNICEF, 2019).  Literacy rates among Afghan refugees in Pakistan are “extremely low” (Hervé, 2018, p. 12), while Pakistan struggles with its own educational challenges as the country with the second largest number of children out of school (25 million) (UNHCR, 2016a, p. 45).  In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and, for the last 40 years, the country has been in a state of war and conflict. The year 2018 marked “the highest ever recorded civilian deaths, including the highest ever recorded number of children killed in the conflict” (Amnesty International, 2019, para. 5). There were nearly 11,000 casualties, including 3,804 deaths and 7,189 injuries in 2018 alone, resulting in 360,000 Afghans being displaced internally (within the country). Moreover, a June 2019 report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), described Afghanistan as the world’s “least peaceful country” (IEP, 2019, p. 2) replacing Syria, which is now ranked second least peaceful. The upheaval in Afghanistan has resulted in large numbers of Afghan people fleeing to Pakistan and Iran. Pakistan is the largest Afghan refugee hosting country and has hosted Afghan refugees for decades. Approximately 1.5 million Afghan refugees were registered in Pakistan (Amnesty International, 2019; UNHCR, 2016a) while there are believed to be another one million unregistered Afghan refugees living in the country 7  (Amnesty International, 2019). Afghan refugees can be found throughout Pakistan, most live in Islamabad, Quetta, Peshawar, and Karachi.  Although Pakistan hosts a large number of Afghan refugees, it is not a signatory to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Amnesty International, 2019). As a result, Afghan refugees’ access to education is limited. They are not able to open bank accounts or buy property (Amnesty International, 2019, para. 22) and work opportunities are limited. Pakistan’s police force has routinely raided Afghan shops, excluded Afghan children from Pakistan’s schools, and frequently threatened deportation of Afghan refugees (Human Rights Watch [HRW], 2017).  As mentioned previously, Afghanistan and Afghan refugees continue to have one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. If educators in first asylum and permanent resettlement countries are not aware of the language and literacy practices in Afghan refugee families’ homes and communities, they may regard Afghan refugees as being literacy impoverished and may hold deficit views of the children, their families, and communities. Similarly, teachers in permanent resettlement countries may struggle to support the language and literacy practices of Afghan refugees if they are unfamiliar with the language and literacy practices that Afghan refugees already engage in (see, for example Sidhu, Taylor and Christie, 2011).  Thus, in order to meet the language, literacy, and overall education needs of Afghan refugees, it is essential to understand the language and literacy practices they already engage in, particularly in their countries of first asylum. This is especially important given that the limited literature available on refugee education focuses on specific refugee populations (e.g., Sudanese, Somali, Karen) other than Afghans; McCloskey and Southwick (1996) suggested that the findings from these studies are not generalizable across cultures. Thus, in order to understand the language and literacy practices 8  of Afghan refugees and to support their language and literacy learning, studies that specifically focus on Afghan refugee children and their families are needed.  As Purcell-Gates (2005) stated, “literacy is conceived of and practiced in different ways by different peoples” (p. x) and these practices are patterned and influenced by cultural and social factors. Notions of literacy, learning, and teaching differ across cultural groups, and literacy practices can be shaped by beliefs, cultural values, social domains (i.e., home, religion, work), and power relations within a community (Purcell-Gates, 2005). Moreover, as Razfar and Gutiérrez (2003) noted, literacy is “a socially mediated process that cannot be understood apart from its context of development, the forms of mediation available, and the nature of participation across various cultural practices” (p. 4). Purcell-Gates (2005) affirmed that while studies have begun to reveal the literacy practices of a diverse group of people, more research in this area is needed. She wrote, “we need many more studies . . . to build our knowledge base—a full picture of literacy as a process and a product” (Purcell-Gates, 2005, p. x) in various communities and cultures. The current study documents and analyzes the language and literacy practices of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan, their country of first asylum.  Purpose and Research Questions Purpose The purpose of this study was to document the literacy and language practices of Afghan refugee children living in Pakistan. The study had two foci: 1) documenting the literacy and language events that children and adults engaged in at home and in the community, and while the children were at school; and 2) understanding the beliefs about language and literacy of four low-income and less educated Afghan refugee families living in Pakistan.  9  Research Questions The following questions guided this study: 1. What language(s) do adults and children in low-income Afghan refugee families in Pakistan use at home, at school, and in their communities? What literacy activities and events do adults and children in low-income Afghan refugee families in Pakistan engage in at home, at school, and in their communities? 2. What are the parents’/guardians’ beliefs about language and literacy? Are these beliefs1 related to the language and literacy events that children and adults engage in at home and in their communities, and while the children are at school, and if so, how? 3. Do parents/extended family members who have minimal formal schooling support their children’s literacy learning? If so, how?  Significance of the Study The study is important for a number of reasons. First, there are very few studies that explore refugees’ language and literacy practices in their first asylum countries. Therefore, this study will contribute to the limited available literature on refugees’ pre-settlement educational experiences. As will be seen in Chapter 2, the few studies documenting the educational experiences of refugees in first asylum countries tend to focus on educational issues more generally, and not on language and literacy in particular. Moreover, this study may be the first to provide an account of the language and literacy learning that occurs in the homes, communities,                                                  1 I use the word belief to refer to “psychologically held understandings, premises, or propositions about the world that are felt to be true” (Richardson, 1996, p. 103).   10  and schools of Afghan refugees in a first asylum country. This is especially important because “three decades of recurrent conflict has led to the education of successive generations of Afghan refugee children being disrupted, discontinued or forgotten” (Jenner, 2015, p. 3). In order to meet the educational needs of Afghan refugees, educators need to be aware of the language and literacy practices in Afghan refugee families’ homes and communities. Otherwise, researchers and educators risk creating literacy programs that lack relevance to the lives and culture of Afghan refugees. A review of the literature on the educational experiences of refugees in their first asylum countries showed that most research focuses on older youth and adults, rather than on elementary school-aged children. As such, the results of the current study will help fill a gap in the literature by focusing on the language and literacy circumstances of elementary school-aged refugee children. The study has implications for teachers and other professionals working with refugee children and families in the country of first asylum and indirectly, in the country of permanent settlement. The study will also have implications for policy related to providing access for refugees to education in first asylum countries and providing professional development opportunities for educators in schools that serve refugees. This study also contributes to theory. Purcell-Gates (2007) stated that, “Research within a literacy-as-social-practice frame has been conducted with only a relatively few communities who are thus impacted by official constructions of successful and unsuccessful literacy” (p. 11). Despite the fact that Afghans are “one of the largest and longest displaced populations in the world” (UNHCR, 2015, p. 3), they are also a group that has largely been left out of research. Thus, this study will provide an understanding of literacy as a social practice within a community where many of the people are considered illiterate and literacy impoverished by the outside world. Furthermore, this study will provide insight into some of the ways that sociocultural 11  theory and Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) bioecological theory may or may not be useful in terms of understanding the language and literacy practices of refugees.   Outline of the Dissertation The dissertation consists of six chapters, including this introductory chapter. In Chapter 2, I situate the study within sociocultural theory of learning (Vygotsky, 1978) and Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) bioecological theory. Then, I review the relevant literature pertaining to the education of refugees in countries of first asylum (including Kenya, Lebanon, and Turkey) and literature related to the language and literacy practices of refugees in permanent resettlement countries (e.g., Canada, Germany, the United States). Chapter 3 describes the methodology of the study, including the research design and a rationale for employing a qualitative methodology. I also describe the data collection methods and the data analysis process. The chapter also describes my role as a researcher while undertaking this study and the measures I took to ensure trustworthiness in the findings. In presenting the findings, I separate them by gender because of the differences between male and female children’s literacy practices and achievements. Chapter 4 describes the language and literacy practices of the female focal children and their parents’/guardians’ beliefs about language and literacy. Chapter 5 focuses on the findings pertaining to the male focal children and their language and literacy practices as well as their parents’/guardians’ beliefs on language and literacy. In Chapter 6, the final chapter, I begin with a discussion of the major findings, highlight some of the insights gained, and outline the implications for teachers, policy makers, and families. I also discuss the limitations of the study and suggest areas for further research.    12  Chapter 2: Theoretical Framework and Literature Review I begin this chapter with an introduction to the theoretical framework of the study. Following this, I review the literature pertaining to refugee families, first by distinguishing refugees from immigrants and characterizing refugees as a unique and well-recognized group. Then, I review the empirical research pertaining to the education of refugees, specifically addressing scholarly work that examines refugee language and literacy learning experiences in their countries of first asylum. Next, I focus on the language and literacy practices of refugee families and children in their permanent resettlement countries such as Canada and the United States and conclude with a summary of the chapter.   Theoretical Framework Sociocultural Theory Within sociocultural theory, culture is seen as playing an important role in cognitive function and ways of learning (Rogoff, 2003). From this perspective, historical, cultural, and social contexts serve to shape teaching and learning. According to Gregory, Long and Volk (2004), sociocultural theory “transcends academic disciplines and focuses on the inextricable link between culture and cognition through engagement in activities, tasks or events” (p. 7). Vygotsky (1962, 1978), whose research and scholarship underpins sociocultural theory, emphasized that learning and thinking are both social and historical in origin. Vygotsky (1978) highlighted the use of signs (e.g., oral language, numbers, writing systems) in mediating human development and learning. He suggested that thought first occurs on the interpsychological plane (between people) and then moves to the intrapsychological plane (within the individual) For example, an adult first guides a child to write their name, but later, the child learns how to do this 13  on their own. Vygotsky drew particular attention to the role that adults play in facilitating children’s learning. For example, adults can structure activities and learning experiences that help children bridge the gap between what they can do independently, and what they may accomplish with the guidance of a more skilled individual. Vygotsky called this gap the zone of proximal development and suggested any skilled individual can enhance a less skilled individual’s learning (i.e., more capable peers can aid in a child’s learning). Rogoff (2003) demonstrated that notions of apprenticeship and learning differ across cultures and may vary significantly with respect to who guides the learning and how they do it. For example, Gregory’s (2001) research with Bangladeshi families in the United Kingdom showed that siblings, rather than their parents, supported each other’s learning at home.  Sociocultural theory characterizes the child as “an active member of a constantly changing community of learners in which knowledge constructs, and is constructed by, larger cultural systems” (Larson & Marsh, 2015, p. 100). In this regard, adults, or more competent members of the community (such as siblings), do not just impart knowledge to the child; instead, both the child and the adult “acquire valid and meaningful knowledge if they are able to transform the information offered to them into something personal” (Kuiper & Volman, 2008, p. 244). Similarly, sociocultural theory centers specifically on what people from a particular community do with literacy, rather than focusing on what they do not do (Larson & Marsh, 2015; Rogoff, 2003; Street, 1984, 2001). For example, in communities where storybook reading is less common, other equally valid forms of literacy practice, such as oral storytelling, may take place. In other words, sociocultural theory emphasizes the importance of culture in learning instead of “isolating culture from the practice of everyday life” (Larson & Marsh, 2005, p. 2). Rogoff (2003) further noted that culture is not “an entity” that impacts individuals; instead, “individual 14  and cultural processes are mutually constituting rather than defined separately from each other” (p. 51, emphasis in original).  From a sociocultural perspective, a singular definition of literacy and learning is insufficient, making it important to recognize alternative and expanded definitions of literacy and learning. Literacy and learning in the home and community may differ from, complement, or supplant what takes place in formal schooling. From a sociocultural perspective, members of a community are not viewed as deficient if they lack a skill (e.g., reading or writing). As Purcell-Gates (1995) asserted, “conceptualizing literacy as a cultural practice denies any notion of deficit. A cultural perspective on behavior implies the study of difference rather than deficit” (pp. 185-186, emphasis in original). Bioecological Theory Bronfenbrenner’s (1979, 2005) bioecological theory also informs this study. Bronfenbrenner proposed that children’s development occurs within an ecological system of five interrelated environments nested within each other with the individual located at the center (see Figure 2.1). The five systems influencing the child include the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. The microsystem, which includes interactions among people in the home, classrooms, or daycare environments, is the most proximal setting to the individual, and therefore has the most influence on the child. For example, a child’s literacy abilities can be influenced in a home where there are opportunities for verbal interactions and the child engages in literacy activities supported by significant others (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006). The macrosystem, which includes the legal, social, political, and educational systems (Rosa & Tudge, 2013), also influences the individual’s development. As Luff (2010) affirmed, “the historical, economic, social and physical contexts in which individuals live and interact 15  provide environmental resources which will affect their growth” (p. 6). For instance, children who grow up in war, conflict, or famine-afflicted countries will experience a very different, and possibly impaired, kind of development compared to children growing up in communities without such problems. These larger societal issues most likely impact children at the microsystem level through malnourishment, lack of resources, injury, trauma, or disability.    Figure 2.1 Bronfenbrenner's Bioecological Model  Note. Reprinted from “What is Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory” by The Psychology Notes HQ, 2013. Retrieved March 18 2019, from https://www.psychologynoteshq.com/bronfenbrenner-ecological-theory/. Copyright 2019 by The Psychology Notes Headquarters. Reprinted with permission.  While the multiple, interrelated systems described in Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory exercise influence on the individual, this does not mean that the individual does not have agency. In his later work, Bronfenbrenner (2005) added the Process-Person-Context-Time (PPCT) concept to highlight the role that the individual play in their own development (Rosa & Tudge, 2013). One of Bronfenbrenner’s goals in adding PPCT was to focus on the reciprocal 16  relationship between the environment and the individual (Rosa & Tudge, 2013). For example, he indicated that individuals who are curious or are likely to engage in an activity, including with others, will be able to “sustain proximal processes, whereas those that are disruptive can impede or interrupt them” (Rosa & Tudge, 2013, p. 253). Bronfenbrenner and Evans (2000) stated that children require active participation with others, such as parents, grandparents, or teachers in order to develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually.  Both sociocultural theory (Rogoff, 2003; Vygotsky 1962, 1978) and bioecological theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979, 2005) provide the theoretical framework for this study. The theories align in some respects. For example, both theories reflect a social-constructivist view of knowledge, which posits the creation (rather than the discovery) of knowledge by individuals. As such, learning becomes a process of constructing meaning, and therefore “it is how people make sense of their experiences” (Merriam & Caffarella, 1999, p. 260). Both sociocultural theory and the bioecological theory consider participation of significant others’ in learning to be essential to the individual’s process of understanding. Similarly, the theories also acknowledge the importance of the environment in the individual’s development. Moreover, the theories imply a reciprocal relationship between the child and the environment (e.g., the child both influences, and is influenced by, the environment).  While these two theories have much in common, the differences between the theories also contributes meaningfully to this research study. Sociocultural theory allowed me to attend to the focal children’s immediate context (e.g., their families), while Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory supported my examination of the external factors influencing the families (e.g., status of being refugees, financial difficulties, etc.). Anderson, Hamilton, Moore, Loewen 17  and Frater-Mathieson (2004) argued that Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory is particularly useful for working with refugee students. They explained: Bronfenbrenner’s theory provides a useful conceptual framework for considering the needs of refugee children as it allows us to consider the impact of personal and environmental factors on the development of refugee children. This is because at its core the theory conceptualizes development as the interactive lifelong process of adaptation by an individual to the changing environment. (p. 4) The notion of adapting to a changing environment provides a lens though which to consider refugees’ experiences because their context is dominated by a new setting and they are usually  learning new languages and facing new barriers in a first asylum country. For example, Bronfenbrenner’s (1979, 2005) theory allowed me to consider how cultural, social, and linguistic contexts affected the participants, including their language and literacy practices. More importantly, Bronfenbrenner’s theory allowed me to see the impact of the social environments on the children (e.g., a focal child engaging in adult-like work) and therefore offered me a more holistic understanding of the participants. Sociocultural theory supported my interpretation and understandings of the immediate contexts surrounding the focal children. For example, it provided a lens through which to consider who the children engaged with and what types of activities they engaged in at home. It also offered a lens to consider the kind of support parents, guardians, and significant others provided the children. In all, both theories provided a lens through which I could understand the focal children and their language and literacy practices by concentrating on their immediate context (such as their families) as well as the external legal, social, political, and educational structures affecting them.  18  Literature Review Refugees According to the Geneva Convention of 1951, a refugee is: any person who, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country. (UNHCR, 2010, p. 14) Refugees are people who are forced to leave their country because of a lack of protection. On the other hand, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (n.d.) defines an immigrant as “a person who lives temporarily or permanently in a country where he or she was not born and has acquired social ties to this country” (p. 1). Therefore, immigrants can be characterized as people who willingly move to another country in search of better opportunities than the ones afforded them in their homelands (Ogbu & Simons, 1998), including jobs, education or religious and political freedom. The UNCHR (2016) advises that the terms should not be conflated. In terms of educational trajectories, refugee students face greater instability (e.g., interrupted schooling) than immigrant students. For instance, refugees tend to be less educated compared to immigrants and have limited proficiency in the dominant language (e.g., English, German) of their host country (Dryden-Peterson, 2011; Koyama & Chang, 2019). The educational opportunities available to refugees, including those available in their first asylum countries, were likely interrupted, limited, or non-existent, resulting in low literacy skills (e.g., reading and writing) even in their first language (Due & Riggs, 2009; Picton & Banfield, 2018).  19  Refugees are also likely to be subjected to high levels of trauma from their exposure to violence, war, natural disasters, and death (Dryden-Peterson, 2016; Hodes, 2000; Koyama & Chang, 2019). As a result, some refugee students find it difficult to concentrate and are mentally withdrawn in school (Yu, 2012). Nonetheless, many refugees speak more than one language (He, Bettez, & Levin, 2017) and come “from families and communities rich in cultural assets and resources” (Koyama & Chang, 2019, p. 137). Generally, refugees are eager to learn, once they are resettled in countries such as the United States or Canada (Koyama, 2015).   Most refugees (86%) arrive in resettlement countries (e.g., Australia, Canada, the United States) from a country of first asylum which is normally a developing country (e.g., Kenya, Pakistan, Thailand) where they escape conflict, drought, natural disaster, and/or other crises (Dryden-Peterson, 2016). According to a UNHCR (2017) report, “the impact of refugee outflows [was] most acutely felt in the countries’ neighboring the conflict zones, with nine out of ten refugees hosted in developing countries” (p. 7). More than half of all refugees are children whose educational opportunities were often limited in their countries of first asylum. For example, refugee children are five times more likely not to be enrolled in schools than non-refugee children (UNHCR, 2016a). In Pakistan, where the current study took place, the percentage of refugee children attending primary schools is about “half of that of their host country peers” (UNHCR, 2016a, p. 11).  In the following section, I first focus on refugees’ language and literacy experiences in school in first asylum countries. For instance, many refugee students have to learn a new language in their first asylum country (as they do in their permanent resettlement country). For some refugee children, going to school in a first asylum country may not even be an option, as they may have to work outside of the home to support their families. Then, I describe the 20  literature on refugees’ educational experiences in their permanent resettlement countries focusing on issues including the mismatch of curriculum and pedagogy, the importance of understanding refugee students’ backgrounds, and the significance of the dominant language of this population.   The sections should not be read as separate and exclusive topics with practices specific to only one or the other category of country (first asylum or resettlement), but rather the reader should be aware that the practices described in first asylum countries may apply to resettlement countries as well, and vice versa.  Refugees’ Educational Experiences and Language and Literacy Practices in Countries of First Asylum Although refugee children’s educational experiences in their countries of first asylum have been under-researched (Dryden-Peterson, 2016; Guo, Maitra & Guo, 2019; UNHCR, 2016a; Uptin, Wright, & Harwood, 2013), the following studies do provide some insight. I first focus on the broader educational issues affecting refugees in their first asylum countries, and then on their language and literacy practices. As noted, much of the limited literature on refugee language and literacy learning, focuses on the experience of older students—very little focuses on elementary school-aged children as does the present study. Understanding Students’ Experiences  Refugee students’ experiences in their first asylum country have a profound impact on how they approach their education later, particularly as they transition to new schools in their resettlement countries. The following studies were conducted in resettlement countries (Australia and the United States), with the exception of the Bellino and Dryden-Peterson’s (2019) study, which was conducted in a first asylum country. However, the studies conducted in permanent 21  resettlement countries focused on the refugees’ experiences in their first asylum countries (prior to coming to Australia and the United States), and thus are included in this review. Bellino and Dryden-Peterson (2019) explored the educational experiences of Somali students in refugee camps and urban areas in Kenya. They drew on multiple interviews with members of organizations working with refugees, teachers, and refugee students, and field notes gathered through observations at primary and secondary schools. Their findings showed that students were aware that their education in the refugee camp was lower in quality compared to schools outside of the camps, despite the fact that the same curriculum was used in both environments. They also learned, for example, that the absentee rate of teachers in the refugee camps was higher than in non-camp schools. Moreover, teachers in refugee schools were less qualified than the teachers in government schools, with most only having a high school diploma. The students also appeared to believe that teachers, who were themselves refugees, “devalue[ed] their education” (Bellino and Dryden-Peterson, 2019, p. 229), even though teachers with lived experience as former refugees were better positioned to understand the refugee students’ experiences, especially in comparison to the Kenyan national teachers. Bellino and Dryden-Peterson (2019) also reported that the local Kenyan teachers experienced frustration with the refugee students’ lateness for classes and lack of progress in learning, which they interpreted as the students not being serious about learning. Furthermore, refugee students who were well off enough to attend government schools believed they were receiving a better education. Students also reported experiencing verbal abuse such as being called “terrorist” (p. 232) by Kenyan students and teachers in the government schools, which resulted in some students concealing their refugee identity in order to protect themselves.  22  Uptin, Wright, and Harwood (2013) investigated the educational experiences of refugees living in Australia. Twelve youths between the ages of 16 and 21 participated in semi-structured interviews and a focus group interview. The interviews focused on the youths’ educational experiences in their first asylum countries, where they had spent most of their lives. Many of the participants considered their education in the first asylum country to be worthless and indicated having had a negative experience. For example, one of the participants referred to the school as a place “where people who didn’t know anything teach us” [sic] (Uptin, Wright, & Harwood, 2013, p. 604). Participants also described several classrooms as places to pass the endless hours with few educational resources, such as lack of books and blackboards. A few of the participants also indicated that they endured insults. However, some participants shared that they had positive experiences in their first asylum schooling, and several perceived school as a place where they could retain a collective identity and enjoy school practices, such as storytelling.  Tandon (2016) examined five Burmese refugee parents’ experiences with schools in first asylum countries and the effect those experiences had on their children once resettled in the United States. Data gathering included weekly classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, and home visits. Most of the parents had not experienced formal schooling in their home countries and they felt intimidated by the school and teachers in the United States. One parent, who was familiar with the educational system in Malaysia, was also able to advocate for her child in the United States, finding her daughter summer classes to further her academic progress. However, some parents were suspicious of the schools partly because of their experiences of violence and persecution as refugees in Thailand. Tandon (2016) noted that while the parents’ fears were understandable, these fears, served to hinder their children’s academic 23  progress by limiting their contact with the schools and the community. For instance, most students were not tutored and did not interact with native English speakers.  These studies provide examples of the educational experiences refugee students have in first asylum countries. Bellino and Dryden-Peterson (2019) and Uptin et al. (2013) foregrounded refugee students’ concerns that they believe the quality of education was low. Erwin, Sewall, Tippens, Nyaoro, and Miamidian (2020) similarly found that the education available to refugees was low quality; it was common to find large number of students taught by a few untrained teachers, and that the refugees experienced discrimination. Bellino and Dryden-Peterson (2019) also highlighted the obstacles refugees face, including the need to shield their refugee identity for reasons of safety.  One recommendation the authors included is that teachers in resettlement countries become more familiar with the educational circumstances in refugee camps to better equip them to meet students’ needs (Uptin et al., 2013). Tandon (2016) also recommended that educators talk with refugee parents and visit their homes in order to establish trust, dispel fears, and overcome negative perceptions of schooling. Collectively, these studies indicate that policy makers and schools need to do more in first asylum countries to provide better opportunities for refugee students. They also indicate that refugee students highly value education.  Language Barriers  Language is often a barrier to refugees’ education in first asylum countries. Aydin and Kaya (2019) focused on the education of Syrian refugees in two elementary schools in the inner city of Istanbul. Seven teachers and two principals were interviewed three times about the Syrian refugee students in their schools. The researchers described a welcoming school environment for Syrian students and noted that, in general, the refugees had the same rights as Turkish students. 24  However, the participants indicated that learning Turkish was the main obstacle confronting the Syrian students. This language barrier prevented them from participating in the mainstream classes because they could not understand what was being taught. One teacher reported that he did not ask his Syrian students with low Turkish proficiency to participate in class so as not to embarrass them. Independently, the teachers developed ways to help the Syrian students succeed. For example, one teacher who provided extra after-school tutoring in Turkish allowed the Syrian students to write in Arabic. Another teacher enrolled in an Arabic course so as to understand his Syrian students’ writing. The researchers concluded that the teachers in their study were supportive and tried to help Syrian students succeed academically, but that they needed more support to meet students’ needs.  Dryden-Peterson (2003) investigated the language barriers of Congolese refugees living in Uganda and reported that language differences negatively affected the educational progress of the Congolese students. The Congolese were taught in French in their home country, but in Uganda instruction was in English. Many of the students had to repeat grades or were placed in lower grades with much younger students in an attempt to improve their English proficiency. A lack of qualified teachers also impeded the students’ education. Congolese teachers, who were also refugees, were denied employment in the schools that served the refugees because they had little command of English.  These studies highlight the importance of language in refugees’ academic progress in the host country. Furthermore, the studies foreground that, while the refugees were able to take part in the host country’s education programs, and teachers were generally empathetic and supportive, there was little or no assistance provided to help refugees learn the dominant language of the country. In terms of recommendations, Dryden-Peterson (2003) suggested that 25  students be provided “intensive [English] language classes to elevate pupils to the level of their peers” (p. 29), rather than placing older students with younger students. On the other hand, Aydin and Kaya (2019) advised that Syrian students have access to tutoring in both Arabic and Turkish. They also called for more funding for programs that teach Turkish to Syrian students. Refugee Children and Work  Schooling may not be an option for refugee children living in first asylum countries as some children are required to work to support their families. Lowicki (2002) focused on issues of protection and care for Afghan children and families in Pakistan and interviewed more than 60 participants, including children, adults, and representatives from the United Nations (UN), non-government organizations (NGOs), and the government of Pakistan. According to Lowicki, all the participants indicated that “the main barrier to education was a lack of money to cover basic living expenses and school-related costs” (p. 15). Many children had to work, collecting plastics to recycle, making bricks, weaving carpets, or begging in order to help their families financially.  Kanso (2018) reported that more than three-quarters of the refugees in Lebanon survived on less than four dollars a day. As a result, fewer than half of the Syrian refugee children were enrolled in school as they were required to work in order to help their families’ meet their financial obligations.  Both Lowicki’s (2002) study of Afghan refugees in Pakistan and Kanso’s (2018) study of Syrian refugees in Lebanon identified child labor practices that refugee families engaged in to survive in their countries of first asylum. Both authors underlined that there were limited educational opportunities for refugee children due to the many obstacles their families faced.  Lowicki (2002), for instance cited “school-related costs” (p. 15), such as admission fees, textbooks, school supplies, and uniforms as barriers that prevented Afghan students from 26  attending school. Lowicki recommended emergency educational interventions for Afghan refugees. Kanso (2018) suggested that some families may simply not have a choice but to rely on their children’s work to survive. In this case, Syrian refugees in Turkey were not allowed to work legally until 2016 which resulted in a black market and many underpaid jobs (Crul et al., 2019). To mitigate the poverty faced by the families, children were required to work rather than going to school (Crul et al., 2016).  Safety and Wellbeing  In addition to financial obstacles, access to education for refugee children in first asylum countries is hindered by a lack of safety and compromised wellbeing. Mareng (2010) reported on his own experiences as a refugee in Kakuma Camp, Kenya and also interviewed other refugees there. He described students who were happy with their education but  who were more concerned with finding enough to eat. Other challenges included the distance students walked (upwards of 10 kilometers) in extreme heat to reach their schools. Mareng (2010) commented that his study illustrated the “reality of human life” (p. 480) in the Kakuma refugee camp.  Winthrop and Kirk (2008) explored the safety and wellbeing of three groups of refugees: internally displaced Afghans in Afghanistan, Eritreans in Ethiopia, and Liberians in Sierra Leone. Data collection included classroom observations, questionnaires, school mapping, and textbook analysis. Winthrop and Kirk indicated that the student participants, ranging from eight to 19 years of age, believed that going to school would improve their lives and provide them with greater opportunities in the future. Yet, the students also talked about the disturbing practices and criminal activities of their teachers that undermined their wellbeing, such as the use of corporal punishment, sexual exploitation of female students, and accepting bribes in exchange for good grades.   27  Maadad and Mattthews (2018) interviewed 91 participants, including refugee parents, students, teachers, community leaders and government bureaucrats about the educational experiences of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon. The students were generally glad to attend school and create opportunities for themselves. Some students described teachers who were moody or “always angry” (Maadad & Mattthews, 2018, p. 13) and some who were abusive. Kiwan (2019) also found that the use of corporal punishment by teachers created barriers between teachers and Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The literature reported on in the previous sections reveals that refugees often struggle to access the basic necessities of life in their first asylum countries. As well, language barriers, inadequate curriculum and pedagogy, and issues of wellbeing and safety impact refugee children’s ability to access an adequate education. Indeed, some of these obstacles are not confined to first asylum countries; they continue to affect the refugees in their permanent resettlement countries. These studies provide valuable insight into refugees’ educational experiences and identify issues that need to be addressed in order to create better educational systems in first asylum and permanent settlement countries. Among the recommendations, Winthrop and Kirk (2008) called on policy makers and educators to ensure that children’s voices are heard and that children are seen as active agents, rather than helpless beings, in order to bring meaningful reforms to refugee children’s education. Similarly, Maadad and Matthews (2018) suggested that schooling for refugees be taken seriously as a method of “reconstructing communities of safety” (p. 15) and recommended more teacher training in order to improve the quality of education.  The following section focuses on refugees’ educational experiences in their permanent resettlement countries. Although the context of a first asylum country is different from the 28  context of a permanent resettlement county, it is reasonable to assume that there would be common educational experiences inherent in both. As such, canvasing the literature on the educational and language and literacy experiences of refugees in their permanent resettlement countries provides greater insight into refugees’ educational experiences more broadly. Furthermore, the educational experiences in the first asylum country have an effect on the refugee student’s education in their permanent resettlement country (Dryden-Peterson, 2016). As such, it is important to focus on both contexts to gain insight into the barriers refugee children face when they enter different educational systems. For example, teacher-centered pedagogy is the dominant form of instruction in refugee education in some first asylum countries (Dryden-Peterson, 2015) and in much of the developing world. While the instruction style varies in countries like Canada and the United States, it is usually student-centered whereby teachers expect students to ask questions, work in groups, and present information to the class. As Dryden-Peterson (2015) noted, because of these differences, refugee children in permanent resettlement countries may bring different approaches to learning and exhibit different behaviors in the classroom that require teachers to explicitly support their students to ask questions or engage in group work.   Refugees’ Educational Experiences and Language and Literacy Practices in Countries of Permanent Settlement In the transition to their permanent resettlement location, refugees often leave behind extended families, social networks of support, and material belongings. They also face economic challenges and language barriers, while adjusting to the cultural practices and expectations of their host country. In the educational context, for example, some cultures prioritize rote 29  memorization and drill (e.g., reading the same passage over and over again for memorization), rather than, for example, reading for meaning and enjoyment or play-based activities or learning through play. Refugees also bring previous knowledge, skills and educational experiences, what Moll (1994) referred to as “funds of knowledge” (p. 2). Understanding the cultural background and knowledge base of refugee students is critical to understanding their educational needs and experiences. Recognizing their language and literacy practices is also critical to beginning a conversation about how best to support their learning needs in their permanent settlement countries. In the following section, I first discuss some of the literature that deals more broadly with refugees’ educational needs and experiences. Then, I examine more closely refugees’ language and literacy practices.  Cultural Mismatch and Understanding Students’ Backgrounds  A number of studies showed that insufficient understanding of refugee students’ and families’ backgrounds significantly impacted interactions with teachers and how teachers regarded them (Davies, 2008; McBrien, 2005; Mendenhall, Bartlett, & Ghaffar-Kucher, 2017).  For example, Mendenhall et al. (2017) observed that refugee and immigrant students are often seen as the same by teachers and school staff, resulting in lack of attention to their unique experiences and affecting the services they receive. In their research on the children of four Burundian families settled in the US, Gahungu, Gahungu, and Luseno (2011) noted that because the children did not respond to questions the way the other kindergarteners did, the teachers thought of them as mentally challenged. The teachers were unaware that conventions of names, birthdays, and age and the concept of time were quite different in Burundi than in the US, which is why the children did not understand certain questions asked of them. Likewise, the teachers 30  failed to recognize that because the students had never encountered certain objects in their lives, they were unable to identify items such as snowmen, which the teachers considered common.  Nykiel-Herbert’s (2010) reported on observations of 12 Iraqi-Kurdish refugee students (ages 8 to 11 years) attending mainstream classes in New York City schools. Nykiel-Herbert (2010) noted that students were believed to lack necessary background knowledge because, for example, they had no knowledge of “the concept of earth as a planet . . . [and] had never seen a map or a globe” (p. 5). The teachers lacked sufficient understanding of their refugee students’ experiential and academic backgrounds to support the students’ academic skill development. Other studies (for example, Miller, Ziaian, & Esterman, 2018; Correa-Velez, Gifford, & Barnett, 2010) also identified issues of cultural mismatch and the importance of understanding refugee students’ backgrounds.  These studies demonstrated that teachers would benefit from working collaboratively with families and understanding their students’ funds of knowledge (Moll, Amanti, & Gonzalez, 1992), rather than taking a normative stance and assuming that all children came to school with a common knowledge base. Gahungu, Gahungu, and Luseno (2011) further recommended that teachers undergo training to recognize and eliminate their cultural biases and to become more familiar with the cultural backgrounds of students. For example, if teachers knew how time, names, and birthdays were perceived in the Burundian culture, they would be better equipped to assess the students’ understanding of these concepts. Nykiel-Herbert (2010) similarly recommended that teachers make an effort to understand their student’s background and advocated for the use of oral storytelling as one way to learn more about students’ experiences and cultures. These recommendations would benefit teachers in both first asylum and permanent resettlement countries as they reinforce the need for teachers to know more about, and to 31  cultivate refugee students’ assets, including their families. For example, some refugee guardians may not know how to read or write, but they likely know a great deal about certain crops or plants that they can share with other students.  Curriculum and Pedagogy Mismatch  Researchers have also documented a mismatch in how refugee families view curriculum and pedagogy in their permanent resettlement country. Tadesse, Hoot, and Watson-Thompson (2009) interviewed four refugee mothers from Ethiopia, Liberia, Sudan and Somalia with preschool aged children enrolled in a Head Start program in New York City. They found that the mothers’ expectations of their children’s education differed from the teachers. For example,  Tedesse et al. (2009) reported on a program in which the preschool children were enrolled that emphasized learning through play, while the refugee mothers placed less importance on play, preferring a structured learning environment for their children. The mothers also felt that the teachers inappropriately assessed their children because of their different cultural backgrounds and their refugee status. One mother explained that she had taught her child to be reserved, but that this trait led to an unsatisfactory score in the social and communication domains of development. Another reported how a teacher misinterpreted the cultural practice of avoiding eye contact with authorities (such as teachers) as an indication that the child was abused and unsafe in the home. Isik-Ercan (2012) conducted in-depth interviews with 28 Burmese refugee parents with a child or children in kindergarten through grade three in a metropolis in the midwestern United States. Although the parents expressed a desire to be involved in their children’s education, they encountered barriers to involvement. For example, due to language barriers, the parents expressed difficulties understanding their children’s homework assignments, the school’s 32  curriculum, and the teacher’s instructional methods. The language barriers were such an issue that the parents requested that the school provide interpreters for them, in order to lessen the burden.  Both Isik-Ercan (2012) and Tadesse et al. (2009) found that while the parents of refugee children were eager to be part of their children’s education, the lack of communication regarding the curriculum and the assigned homework prevented the development of a positive relationship between parents and teachers. Isik-Ercan (2012) suggested that teachers could learn much by visiting their student’s homes, although this practice would be time-consuming and might not be an appropriate way of engaging with some families due to cultural practices (i.e., some families may be uncomfortable with teachers visiting their homes). Arranging a regular time for families to meet with teachers at school to talk about the curriculum might be a more effective strategy for improving the communication between teachers and parents. Similarly, Tadesse, Hoot, and Watson-Thompson (2009) maintained that teachers have a responsibility to inform refugee parents about the curriculum. For example, it would be important to inform parents about the value of learning through play, as this way of learning may be new to some refugee parents.  Importance of the Dominant Language  Learning the dominant language of the host country is an important asset that most refugees need to gain in their resettlement countries. Yamashita (2018) used a mixed-methods research design that included qualitative interviews with parents and children and a battery of assessments intended to measure the children’s literacy skills in both their heritage language and in English. The participant group consisted of children from five Syrian refugee families that had resettled in Toronto, Canada. According to Yamashita (2018), the children highly valued learning English, with many reporting that it was essential in order to make friends at school and 33  to “fit in” (p. 18). Participants described the multiple methods and modes their teachers used to help them learn English, such as gestures and visuals. Many of the parents lacked proficiency in English, which was a barrier to them advancing in their careers. It also negatively affected their involvement in their children’s schooling as in the case of one student whose mother was unable to understand what the school staff told her about her child skipping classes.   The three Karen refugee parents in Duran’s (2017) qualitative study faced difficulties in the United States because of their low English language skills. Through analysis of interviews, participant observations, and participant artefacts, Duran concluded that the parents highly regarded education for their children, but language barriers dissuaded the parents from interacting with the school. Parents were uncomfortable talking to their children’s teachers and therefore did not express concerns about their children’s academic progress. Similar to Tadesse et al. (2009), Duran (2017) noted that even though parents wanted to learn about the school’s curriculum and instructional methods, the language barriers discouraged them from attending school activities.  Observing and interviewing eleven refugee children in grades three to five over a two-year period in in Sweden, Dávila (2017) found that some students felt a sense of “safety and comfort in the newcomer classes” (p. 6) where they received individualized Swedish language support. However, students also worried about their transition into mainstream classes where they would be required to interact with native Swedish speakers. None of the students enrolled in their first language classes, despite the availability of relevant after school classes. Dávila (2017) concluded that students were invested in learning Swedish “sometimes at the expense of [their] home language development” (p. 6).  34  Although their study took place in a country of first asylum, Norton and Kamal’s (2003) study also focused on the importance of the dominant language, which is the case of English in Pakistan. The study focused on Pakistani students at a middle school in Pakistan who wanted to help the Afghan refugees with their English and literacy development. Data collection consisted of interviews, observations and questionnaires. Findings from Norton and Kamal (2003) indicated that the students viewed literacy more than just reading and writing and was “also about education more broadly” (p. 306). For example, some students noted that a literate person is able to reason compared to a person who is illiterate. Furthermore, the Pakistani students believed that it is important for the Afghan refugees to learn English as it is an international language as well as language of the media, science and technology. Many of the Pakistani students also mentioned that English would give Afghan refugees access to resources, such as getting admission into schools.   As Duran (2017) and Yamashita (2018) reported, not speaking English disadvantaged refugee parents by limiting or curtailing participation in their children’s education. These studies foreground the importance of providing meaningful support to refugee families and students in learning the dominant language of their resettlement country. Further, they provide a glimpse into refugee students’ commitment to learn the dominant language of their host country, in part, to fit in and make friends. Yamashita (2018) suggested providing refugee students with language and academic support, as well as providing heritage language classes at schools. As well, Duran (2017) advised that schools use interpreters at school events in order to ease the language barrier, especially for parent-teacher conferences. Duran (2017) also proposed that schools hold some events at informal locations, such as a park, so that parents could meet with teachers without feeling intimidated. As such, while learning the dominant language holds many benefits such as 35  being able to navigate the commerce, work and social activities of the community, it also holds particular importance for refugee children by enabling them to develop friendships and feel part of their school environment. Similarly, mastering the dominant language enables parents to support and participate in their child’s education. Children as Literacy Supporters  Refugee children often play an essential role in teaching, translating, and brokering language and literacy for their parents and other family members. Perry’s (2014) 18-month study of a six-year-old Sudanese refugee student named Remaz focused on her role in facilitating her parents’ English literacy learning. Drawing on data from fieldnotes, interviews and artefacts, Perry (2014) noted that Remaz was an “active literacy broker” (p. 318) at home and that she helped her parents complete English language tasks by reading to her mother and helping her mother complete her ESL homework. As well, Remez taught her parents about literacy norms and practices in the United States. For instance, Remaz showed her mother how to sign a permission form and explained why it was important. Remaz also explained the purposes and features of the different kinds of school forms (e.g., book purchase form, field trip permission slip) for her parents.  Siblings in refugee families also support each other’s language and literacy development, especially when their parents do not know the new language. Millikin-Lynch’s (2009) year-long study focused on a Somali Bantu refugee family’s language and literacy learning in the United States. Utilizing interviews, photographs, and artefacts, she observed that the older siblings supported their younger siblings’ English learning by using environmental print and by correcting errors in their homework. Language and learning experiences were multigenerational and multidirectional in that both the siblings and the parents enhanced one another’s learning.   36  Perry’s (2014) and Millikin-Lynch’s (2009) studies showed different ways children in refugee families take on the role of language and literacy supporters. Whether supporting their parents’ oral language development in the dominant language or helping a sibling with homework, the children engaged in complex literacy practices (Perry, 2009, 2014). Gregory’s (2001) work with immigrant Bangladeshi families in the United Kingdom also showed that siblings, rather than parents or guardians, supported each other’s learning. To help refugee children and families, Perry (2014) suggested that teachers be explicit about the print materials they send home. For example, she recommended that teachers model how to fill out a field trip permission form and explain why it is necessary, in order to make it easier for students, especially refugee students, to explain it to their parents or guardians. Furthermore, although some refugee families may be unfamiliar with “contemporary” forms of literacy, such as digital media or print literacy, they do practice other equally valid traditional forms of literacy, such as storytelling, which teachers can encourage. Overall, Millikin-Lynch (2009) suggested that teachers should strive to know more about their students’ lives, literacies, and diverse ways of learning outside of school in order to validate and incorporate them into the curriculum.  Storytelling Practices  School practices related to language and literacy learning should be purposeful and authentic for all children, including refugees. Storytelling is a common practice in many cultures and ethnic communities (Strekalova-Hughes & Wang, 2019) which suggests its value in pedagogy. Geres (2016) interviewed three teachers regarding their use of storytelling as an instructional practice with youth from refugee, immigrant, visitor, or temporary worker families enrolled in English as an Additional Language (EAL) classes in a secondary school in Saskatchewan, Canada. The teachers indicated that, through storytelling, they learned more 37  about their students, which enabled them to tailor the curriculum to meet their students’ needs. Through storytelling and journaling activities, for example, one teacher learned about his students’ interest in sports, which he in turn used as a conversation topic and in the process, developed trust with his students. Another teacher recognized that the students’ stories were relevant to school-related lessons, particularly to the history curriculum. While teaching units about the American and French Revolutions, the teacher realized through the refugee students’ stories “that we [had] students who [were] from countries that [were] in a revolution right this minute” (p. 80). Geres (2016) concluded that “storytelling as a classroom strategy encouraged literacy development” (p. 81) for the refugee students. Strekalova-Hughes and Wang (2019) examined how family storytelling was perceived by Nepali, Somali and South Sudanese refugee children ages three to eight who had resettled in New York City with their families. From an analysis of 18 semi-structured group interviews, the researchers concluded that the children viewed storytelling as a way to maintain their home language and to connect with others from the same linguistic community. For example, one participant indicated she wanted to learn to write in Somali so she could write letters to her brother who lived in another state. Participants also believed that if they shared their stories at school, their peers would enjoy them. However, many children did not share their stories at school because they believed they did not know how to translate some words or phrases from their native language into English. Interestingly, the Strekalova-Hughes and Wang (2019) noted that the children were retelling the read-aloud stories from school to their families at home. Strekalova-Hughes and Wang (2019) feared that this one-sided communication, in which the children felt that they could tell school stories at home, but not home stories at school might be 38  “perpetuating language loss” (p. 17) in refugee communities. Similarly, while the children felt welcomed at school, they believed that their home languages were not valued there.  Perry (2008) explored the use of storytelling with three Southern Sudanese refugees in the United States through interviews, participant observation, and artefact collection. She found that prior to settling in the United States, the Sudanese youth engaged in the oral storytelling traditions of their homeland; however, once they were in the United States, the practice transformed to a written one, which, Perry contended, reflected a practice that was valued in their new environment. Perry (2008) also found that the youth’s experiences as refugees served as a basis for their storytelling and that they were eager to write and share their stories with others. Perry (2008) asserted that, “storytelling, whether traditional or transformed, may offer an important motivation for refugees to engage in print literacy practice” (p. 352). For the refugee youths, storytelling “was a practice that gave them legitimate reasons to engage with reading and writing and to develop their English language abilities” (ibid, p. 352). To reiterate, storytelling is an important literacy practice in many refugee homes and can also be used in schools to further support refugee students’ learning. As Geres’s (2016) study indicated, storytelling allowed students to bring their experiences to school, while simultaneously allowing teachers to tailor the curriculum. Strekalova-Hughes and Wang (2019), on the other hand, focused on how storytelling was, in part, sustaining the home language for the participants. They observed, however, that the teachers did not encourage storytelling and did not place much value on the students’ home languages. Consequently, Strekalova-Hughes and Wang (2019) recommended that teachers show respect for their students’ native languages and “nurture” (p. 18) storytelling practices in the classroom. They suggested, for instance, that a teacher could share a story from memory with their students as a way to model “explicit 39  motivation to share stories ‘with others’ and ‘in the future’” (Strekalova-Hughes & Wang, 2019, p. 18). Perry’s (2008) study, on the other hand, showed how the Sudanese youth meaningfully engaged in English learning through storytelling and sharing important knowledge. Refugee parents also used storytelling to pass on important values to their children (Roy & Roxas, 2011). Perry further stated that storytelling can be a powerful way to engage refugee students in print literacy and second language learning. For example, refugee students can write down oral stories or write about their own experiences. As a result, storytelling might be one way to mitigate situations where refugee students are “being asked to lose or deny their languages, literacies, cultures, and histories in order to achieve” (Paris & Alim, 2017, p. 1).   Gender and Refugees’ Academic Performance  Gender is an important concern in social science research, and the field of education is no exception. Studies have generally indicated that females perform better in academic tasks when compared to males (Ferguson, 2016; O’Grady et al., 2016). For instance, Ferguson’s report noted that girls scored higher than boys in reading and science in Canada and in most of the participating countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, I have not found any studies that have focused on the role of gender in refugee students’ achievement in first asylum countries. This is not surprising considering that the literature on refugee’s education in first asylum countries is in itself very limited (Dryden-Peterson, 2016). Nonetheless, some studies have been conducted in permanent resettlement countries that have indicated that gender, among other factors, plays an important role in refugee students’ educational achievement.  Berthold (2000) investigated the relationship between Khmer adolescent refugees’ exposure to war trauma and their academic, behavioral, and psychological well-being. The study 40  with 144 adolescents and their parents/guardians took place in three high schools in the western United States. Fifty-six percent of the students were classified by their schools as having limited English proficiency, but “females were significantly more likely to be classified as being fluent in English” (Berthold, 2000, p. 27) and had a higher GPA (grade point average). At the same time, Berthold (2000) noted that male adolescents had much more exposure to violence when compared to females. Additionally, the male students were also reported for behavior problems in schools more frequently than females.  Using semi-structured interviews, Mosselson (2007) focused on the educational experiences of 15 female adolescent refugees from Bosnia in New York. The findings indicated that the female students were passionate about learning and valued the education opportunities they found in the United States. Furthermore, all 15 females were doing well in school, including in language and literacy. However, most of the students suffered from stress and depression due to their memories and experiences of enduring war in their home country.  These studies highlight that, in order to support refugee students’ education, gender is an important factor that needs to be  considered closely when focusing on the achievement of refugee students in schools. As these studies show, female refugee students experienced more success in academic outcomes when compared to male refugee students. Berthold (2000) recommended that schools offer culturally appropriate counseling services to refugee students in order to address their individual experiences of trauma, as well as any possible learning challenges they face based on their previous educational experiences. Mosselson (2007) recommended that schools make a greater effort to understand refugees as individuals rather than only focusing on their academic achievement or language skills, or lack thereof.  41  The studies in this section centered on the language, literacy, and educational experiences of refugees in resettlement countries. Interestingly, the same challenges refugees encountered in their first asylum countries continued as obstacles in their permanent resettlement countries. Language barriers and discrimination stand out as issues refugees have to deal with in both first  asylum and permanent resettlement contexts. However, these studies also shed light on how to achieve meaningful literacy learning through the use of storytelling. In addition, the studies stressed the importance of teachers’ understanding of their students’ backgrounds in order to provide culturally sensitive instruction that takes into consideration previous experiences.   Summary In this chapter, I presented the conceptual framework that guided the current study and proposed the idea of refugees as a unique group different from other groups, such as immigrants and migrants. I also reviewed the relevant literature pertaining to the study. In particular, I focused on language and literacy practices, as well as the broad educational experiences of refugees in their first asylum and permanent resettlement countries. Given the dearth of research on the educational experiences of Afghan refugees, this literature review drew on studies pertaining to the language and literacy learning experiences of refugees from diverse ethnic groups and across a wide age range. Furthermore, much of the literature focused on the educational experiences of refugees in permanent resettlement countries, rather than in their first asylum countries. As Dryden-Peterson (2016) noted, the educational experiences of refugees in first asylum countries has remained, in general, unexplored. The literature on educational experiences in permanent resettlement countries emphasized the high value refugees placed on learning the dominant language and described the collective efforts of parents and siblings to 42  help one another learn the language of the host country. In addition, researchers encouraged teachers and other professionals to ensure that language and literacy learning practices have relevance to refugees, and that they include techniques such as storytelling in classroom instruction. The literature further detailed the formidable obstacles that many refugees faced as they pursued their education in the host countries, including being subjected to violence and abuse by teachers in some of the first asylum countries. In the next chapter, I introduce the methodology for the study.   43  Chapter 3: Research Methodology   In this chapter, I present an outline of the methodology used in this study. I begin by presenting a rationale for using a qualitative research design. Then, I describe the data gathering and data analysis methods. Finally, I describe my role in the research and discuss issues of trustworthiness.   Research Design Rationale I conducted this qualitative study using ethnographic methods to document the literacy activities and events that Afghan refugee children and adults engaged in at home, in the community, and at school. My research questions required a methodology that allowed for the creation of detailed descriptions in order to understand the language and literacy practices within the three contexts. Creswell (2007) stated that this kind of understanding “can only be established by talking directly with people, going to their homes, and allowing them to tell their stories” (p. 40). Furthermore, Gall, Borg, and Gall (1996) noted that “[no] other research tradition matches the ability of ethnography to investigate the complex phenomenon known as culture” (p. 617). Thus, they argued that qualitative methodology is the most appropriate method to achieve such understanding. In order to utilize ethnographic methods, a researcher needs to be “immersed in the day-to-day lives of the people” (Creswell, 2013, p. 104). Data mostly consist of observations, interviews, artefacts, and other sources of data (Creswell, 2013). Qualitative methodology allowed me best to achieve my goals because it required me to visit the participants and spend time in their homes, communities, and in the case of the focal children, at their school. 44  I also interviewed male parents or guardians,2 the school founder, teachers of the focal students (teachers at the Afghan School and Harun’s mosque teacher), and the school security guard, who was also a community leader.  As stated in Chapter One, my research questions centered on documenting and understanding the languages and literacy events of children and adults engaged in at home, school, and in the community. I also wanted to know the parents’ and guardians’ beliefs about language and literacy. Lastly, I was curious to explore how parents, guardians, or extended family members, with minimal schooling, supported their children’s literacy learning. Data collection occurred in multiple settings and focused on how the participants used literacy and language in their daily lives. I conducted interviews with the focal children, their parents or guardians, and their teachers. I followed and observed the focal children in their school, their homes, and in the community, with the goal of observing what the children “do with literacy” (Barton & Hamilton, 1998, p.6) and language(s). I also took photos of the children’s writing, homework, and drawings.   Setting Location of the Study  This study took place on the outskirts of Islamabad (the capital of Pakistan) in an area I will refer to as Brishna (a pseudonym), thirty minutes away from the city center. There one can see both modern homes and homes made of mud; however, the section of the city where I                                                  2 I did not interview the mothers or female adults in the focal children’s home due to Afghan cultural norms where an unknown man generally does not speak to women. 45  conducted the study was especially known for farmhouses, which were surrounded by a large open agricultural area used for growing a variety of fruits and vegetables. On the main road, vendors set up carts selling oranges, watermelons, and dried fruits. Next to the road, there was a private university that mainly prepared students to work in the technology field.  The majority of the people living in Brishna were Punjabi; however, there were other groups of people, such as Kashmiris and Balochi in addition to the Pashtuns of Pakistan.3 Brishna also had a sizable population of Afghan refugees, many of them working in the trades, constructing homes, schools, and other kinds of buildings. Some Afghan men worked at different shops in the main bazaar, while others had opened up their own stores.  In the main bazaar, one could find almost any kind of service or tool. For example, there was a mobile phone store where, in addition to buying a phone, one could pay phone bills and purchase mobile data cards. The bazaar also included salons, bakeries, convenience stores, and tailors who stitched and made clothes, including traditional Pakistani clothes. Although most of the store signs were written in Urdu, some stores used signs written in a combination of English and Urdu. Throughout the bazaar, one could also see posters and advertisements for private schools4, including elementary, middle, and high schools. These posters were usually in English, and they advertised open or “free admission” to indicate that no fee was required to register a student. Often these ads included phrases such as “Medium of instruction is English,” to                                                  3 Although different from Pashtuns of Afghanistan, however Pashtuns share the same language, customs, and ethnicity. Pakistan Pashtuns are citizens of Pakistan. 4 Private schools were very common in Brishna and throughout Islamabad. People who could afford it, chose to send their children to private schools, as they believed these schools provided better quality education compared to public schools. 46  highlight the benefits of attending the school. This meant that other than Urdu and Islamic studies classes, most of the subjects were taught in English. One would also see Islamic posters not only in the bazaar but also throughout Brishna, advertising opportunities such as classes that men could enroll in at the mosque, important Islamic gatherings, and other events organized in the city. The presence of these ads increased prior to the month of Ramadan to encourage community members to take advantage of the events, classes, and gatherings offered. For example, one poster, written in Urdu, showed the date and time as well as the photos and names of a number of scholars who were to perform Islamic nasheeds (chants) at an upcoming event. Another sign highlighted the twenty-seven courses available at the mosque, including “How to Pray,” “Remembering Allah,” “The Status of Women in Islam,” “Islam and Marriage,” and many others. Selection of the School  After applying for and receiving approval from the University of British Columbia Behavioural Research Ethics Board to conduct the study, I looked for a school that not only had an Afghan refugee population, but also catered to their needs, such as by offering low tuition fees. It was also important for me to find a school that wanted to be part of the research study and demonstrated some commitment of support towards the Afghan refugee population. I wrote to the school founder of the Afghan School,5 describing my research study and including my research questions. The school founder, Mrs. Jennifer Khan,6 believed the questions were important and that the findings could further support the needs of Afghan refugee children and                                                  5 Pseudonym of the school. 6 All names in this dissertation are pseudonyms, including the names of the participants, school, community, etc.  47  families in their language and literacy development. In her email, Mrs. Khan wrote that she had shared my research questions with the teachers and mentioned that they were similarly supportive of the study. I first met Mrs. Khan in Saudi Arabia where we both taught English to first-year university students in 2014. We lived right next to each other and, through informal conversations, her husband (who is Pashtun from Pakistan) began to share with me the work Mrs. Khan was doing with Afghan refugee students in Islamabad. From there on, we met several times over lunch to discuss the struggles of Afghan refugees and their educational barriers in Pakistan. When I began my PhD, I kept in touch with Mrs. Khan and shared my research proposal with her. We both agreed that the school might be a meaningful site for my project, as it had a large Afghan refugee population. In addition, Mrs. Khan and the teachers were supportive of the study (as described earlier) and believed it would help them meet some of the needs of the Afghan students and families. Lastly, the school gave me access and welcomed me to begin the research, which was a further reason why I chose this school. Specific information about the school is included in the next section. The Afghan School All the focal children attended the Afghan School located in the center of Brishna. The Afghan School had many students who attended for free, or who paid very little tuition. The school enrolled about 200 students, more than half of whom were Afghan refugees. The Afghan School served students in preschool to eighth grade and was funded largely through donations. The school founder and her colleagues regularly held events in the United States to raise funds for the school. For many of the Afghan refugees, it was their first time in school. A growing number of non-Afghan students, such as Punjabi and Kashmiri students, enrolled in the school as 48  well. These students were usually from low-income families that were interested in having their children attend the school because it cost very little and was free for families that could not pay.  The school had a total of 14 classrooms and 21 teachers, as well as a security guard, and a cook. The school also had a small library near the office, with books in English and Urdu. These books were limited, and the library did not loan books to be taken home. In addition, the school had 14 desktop computers and students from grade one onward took a computer class weekly for an hour. The students in elementary grades learned the basic information about using a computer and also completed basic typing in English. Occasionally, they also used the computers to play educational games. Each teacher had a limited supply of art materials in their classroom although some art materials were also available in the office. The languages of instruction were Urdu (60% of the classes) and English (40% of the classes). Arabic was taught twice per week as part of the Islamic studies class. The students did not have Arabic textbooks although Arabic print was found throughout their Islamiat books, which were in Urdu. The teacher taught Arabic mostly using the board. The age range in each class varied; for example, in a first-grade class, students ranged in age from five to eight. The lower grade classes (kindergarten to grade three) ranged in size from between 20 to 28 students. The upper grade classes (fourth grade and up) ranged in size from ten to 18 students7 per class. All of the school’s textbooks were in English, except the books used for the Urdu literacy and Islamic studies classes. The books used for Urdu class were written in Urdu. Books for Islamiat class were also written in Urdu but incorporated some Arabic, such as passages from the Quran or Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad).                                                  7 The school founder mentioned that the lack of space is an issue at the Afghan School, since the school could only accommodate a limited number of students. The majority of upper grade students were encouraged to enroll in one of the nearby schools.  49  Even when the texts were in English, the instruction was mostly in Urdu or a combination of English and Urdu. The School’s Ethos The school’s motto was “Teaching for Understanding” and lecturing was discouraged. The school supported hands-on learning and provided training for teachers to help them incorporate this approach into their teaching. Almost all the teachers were new to the Afghan School and some were also new to teaching. Most of the teachers had some level of higher education and there was a range of teaching experience from little to several years.  The school founder, Mrs. Jennifer Khan mentioned that retaining teachers was one of the issues facing the school. However, there was a sense of collegiality among the teachers and co-principals. The teachers appeared to enjoy teaching and seemed to care about the children they taught. Furthermore, many teachers mentioned that the Afghan School was a place where they felt comfortable; they believed it stood out among many schools in Pakistan because the school practiced and honored Islamic principles. Teachers particularly appreciated that they were allowed to wear their veils and headscarves in the school. They also mentioned that unlike other schools, the Afghan School, allocated time for the students to perform their prayers.  The Afghan School featured an abundance of printed messages (in English and Urdu) and anywhere one looked one could read sayings and messages that had been painted on the walls. For example, there was a verse from the Quran painted in capital letters high in the school’s courtyard that stated, “O Lord increase my knowledge” in English. Similarly, another saying stated, “Forget injuries never forget kindness.” There were also reminders to students, such as, “Don’t hurt the plants they are alive” written in both Urdu and English. The national anthem of 50  Pakistan (which the students sang at the morning assembly), written in Urdu, was printed on the wall near the kindergarten class.   Personal Biography Before explaining the procedure for participant selection and the participants in this study, it is important to state my own role as a researcher and my positionality in relation to this study. While I began this study as a doctoral student in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at UBC, I was also an insider in my research site. Firstly, I shared my country of origin, ethnicity as a Pashtun, first language (Pashto), and faith with my participants. I am also familiar with Pashtunwali—a code of conduct with Indigenous roots that defines a Pashtun. Like my participants, I lived as a refugee in Pakistan for five years. My family had left Afghanistan due to the instability in the country and have lost several extended family members to the ongoing conflict there. Lastly, I had previous experience working with Pashtun refugee families and their children in Boston, United States, where I helped them access and understand the resources available to them.  It is important to note, however, that I was also an outsider. It had been almost 15 years since I had lived in Pakistan. Since December 2000, I have lived in the United States and Canada. Moreover, although my family lived in Pakistan as refugees, we were privileged enough to live in a comfortable apartment. The families participating in this study struggled to make ends meet. While I usually wear a shirt and pants, during the study I only wore a traditional Afghan garment for men, known as a qamees. I did this to fit in and to respect the rules of modesty. Whenever I asked the family members questions, I made it clear that they could also ask me questions. Lastly, I worked closely with Mr. Dost (the school’s security guard and 51  Afghan community leader) and followed his guidance to ensure that I conducted myself according to the Pashtun culture when I engaged with the Afghan families. As a Pashtun, I was invested in making sure that I behaved according to my Pashtun culture. At the same time, I acknowledge that due to my time away from Afghanistan, I was at a slight disadvantage in remembering how to live by the rules of Pashtunwali. Mr. Dost informed me that my behavior and interaction with the families were positive and that the families were appreciative of the way I conducted myself toward them.  Selection and Description of the Participants Selection of the Participants The selection of participants was purposive rather than random in that I sought four Afghan refugee families with a child between the age of four and eleven. This age range was purposeful as, according to The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 2015 report, children “below the age of 14 account for half of the 2.45 million Afghan refugees in both Pakistan and Iran” (p. 3). As well, I focused on families whose first language was Pashto and who were low-income with limited schooling. I defined families with limited schooling as those in which the parents or guardians either had no formal school experience (that is, the parents or guardians had not attended school) or those in which the parents or guardians had limited formal school experience, such as some middle or high school, but not higher education. I used the World Bank definition of low-income to determine low-income status, which in 2018 was one dollar and ninety cents (200 Pakistani rupees) per day (Jolliffe & Wadhwa, 2018). I also sought two male and two female focal children, each child from a different family, so as not to privilege one gender over the other.  52  The staff at the Afghan School worked with me to identify families that met the criteria for participating in the study, and sent out notices (information about the study, and permission forms) to all qualifying families in both English and Pashto. I visited each class along with one of the principals and explained the main components of the study in Pashto to students in kindergarten to grade three. The co-principal then reiterated the main points to the class, in Urdu. I provided Informed Consent forms (the consent and assent forms can be found in Appendix A) to the students and asked them to share the form with their parents and inform them that they had one week to decide if they would like to participate in the study. After one week, I collected the forms and although the response was generally low, 13 families with children in each grade level responded. The families that responded included three with a child in kindergarten, five with a child in grade one, three with a child in second grade, and two with a child in third grade. I then met with all the students whose families had agreed to participate to learn some basic information about them, such as languages they spoke at home, where they lived, and what their parents did for work. After gathering this information, I selected the children whose families had more flexibility and availability in terms of observing and conducting interviews with them. For example, some students came to school in a van, rather than walking to school. Since I knew I could not follow such students from school to home for observation, nor find their homes on my own, I did not select these students for the study. Some students also mentioned that their male guardian would not be easily available to meet with due to their work schedules. Again, I chose not to select these families as I did not want to burden them with finding the time for an interview. After this process, I was left with six potential families and I consulted with the co-principals to ensure that the selected families met the criteria described. The co-principals together suggested that I not include two of the focal children. One child had a learning disability 53  according to the teacher and the co-principals, and the co-principals were looking into alternative schooling for him, as the school was unable to meet his needs or provide him the level of attention that he required. The second child’s father had informed the school that they were going to move to another province in Pakistan at the end of the month. Thus, I was left with four potential focal children, two males and two females.  I shared information about the potential focal children with Mr. Dost, the school’s security guard and community leader, and he accompanied me to each of the focal children’s homes, where I met with the parent and guardians and the focal children. I began my conversation with each family by going over the consent forms that they had signed and explained all the information included in the consent form in Pashto. The parent/guardian of each focal child listened, and Mr. Dost elaborated on certain points. For example, when I talked about observing the children in the community, Mr. Dost told Arman’s father that, for instance, if Arman goes to the store, I would be following him and observing him and his interactions at the store. After I translated verbally into Pashto what was included in the consent form, I asked each parent/guardian to briefly explain the main points in the consent form back to me in Pashto. Mr. Dost suggested this idea and informed me that this would confirm that each parent/guardian had understood the main tasks and scope of the research. Afterwards, each parent/guardian was asked if they had any questions; I answered any question the parent/guardian had in the presence of Mr. Dost. I also informed all participants that, at any time, they could withdraw from the study without any explanation. I also informed the participants that if they were uncomfortable with anything I asked about, they did not have to answer. Then, I spoke to each focal child in Pashto with the parent and guardian present and explained the main points on the assent form and shared information about the study. I explained to each child that he or she could choose not to 54  participate in the study at any time. Furthermore, I explained that I would ensure anonymity throughout the study and would not use their real names, the school name, or the name of the community. Consent and assent letters can be found in Appendix A including for the focal children, the parents and guardians, the teachers, and other participants. In addition, at the end of the study, each family received 18.000 PKR (CAD $150) to help with purchasing any essential household items, such as blankets or cooking utensils, as a gesture of appreciation for their time and willingness to participate in the study. During my first visit to each focal child’s home with Mr. Dost, I informed each parent/guardian that they would receive this monetary assistance, even if they chose to withdraw from the study at any time. Below, I describe, in detail, the interviews conducted with the different participants as well as the focus of each of the interviews.   I provide more information about the focal children and their families below. The reader will notice, however, that I provide more information on the male parents and guardians than on the children’s mothers or female guardians. In Afghan culture, it is considered impolite to inquire specifically about females or to ask questions pertaining to them, especially as I am a male researcher. Therefore, I relied on the male parents and guardians to volunteer details about the mothers, rather than probing to ask specific questions about them.  The Participants Safa Noor and her Family  Safa Noor was an energetic and confident, eleven year-old student in the third grade at the Afghan School. She was born in the province of Peshawar, Pakistan. My introduction to Safa best describes her confident nature. When I first visited the school, I sat near the gate with the school’s security guard. An Afghan man rode up on his motorcycle and parked it near the school to pick up his children at the end of the school day. Curious about the motorcycle, I asked the 55  man if it was easy or hard to ride. Before he could answer, Safa standing nearby, said, in Pashto, “Sir, it is very easy . . . we can ride it too, but we are women” (Fieldnotes, January 26, 2018).  Safa’s family consisted of eight people: her father Sajjad, her mother Zargoona, and six children (three girls and three boys). Sajjad came from Afghanistan to Pakistan as a refugee in 1978 and settled in Peshawar at the Akore camp with his parents and siblings just before the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He worked in construction while Zargoona took care of the home and the two cows the family kept. Both Sajjad and Zargoona were unable to read or write in any language. Sajjad attended school until third or fourth grade (he could not remember), and Zargoona never attended school. Their oldest daughter, Shereena (17), completed grade eight. Shereena worked part-time as a tutor, helping the neighbourhood students with their homework.  Pashtana was the second oldest daughter and was about 15-years-old. She attended school for approximately three years but discontinued. Sajjad and Zargoona also had three boys, Abbas (7), Abdulhamid (5), and Eissa (3). Abbas and Abdulhamid were in the Afghan School with Safa, while Eissa stayed at home.  Living Conditions. The Noor family of eight lived in a small, two-bedroom house made of clay. The parents slept in the first bedroom and the six children slept in cots in the second bedroom. The second bedroom seemed crowded with the cots, and there was not much space to move. On the windowsill, there were three Qurans each covered in a cloth. Other than the Qurans, I did not see any other books in the Noor’s home. Outside, there was a small veranda where the family would sit and drink their tea. To the left of the veranda was the bathroom. The family did not have any running hot water and had to heat water over a fire in order to shower. Sajjad was the only member of the family who worked full time. He worked in construction building homes, schools, or other buildings. As the sole income earner for the Noor family, he 56  struggled to provide for the household’s needs. He told me, “One day if I don’t work, Allah knows my situation; I am in trouble” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto) and mentioned the struggle he faced to pay the bills.  Seemena Angar and Her Family Seemena Angar was a quiet ten-year-old student in the second grade. She was tall and had a pierced nose, which made her easy to spot among her classmates. Seemena was born in an Afghan refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan. Her family who had lived in Pakistan for more than four decades, consisted of her father, Dawud, her mother, Kinza, seven male children, and five female children. Except for Seemena, all the girls were married and no longer lived with the family, leaving Seemena, her parents, and her six brothers living under one roof. Her eldest brother lived separately along with his wife and children due to lack of space in Seemena’s home. Dawud and Kinza only spoke Pashto and could not read or write in any language. Dawud’s parents were too poor to send him to school, while Kinza had not attended school because, as Dawud told me, it was uncommon for girls to do so. Other than the nephews and nieces that lived in the house (the children of her brothers), Seemena was the only person in her immediate family to attend school. When I asked why his sons did not attend school, Dawud told me that they had to work to support the family.  Dawud used to be a police officer in Afghanistan prior to moving to Pakistan. After completing his service as an officer, he had been a farmer. In Pakistan, he initially worked as a farmer to support his family. As he recalled, “I borrowed some land and grew different kind of things on it” (Interview, February 1, 2018, translated from Pashto). Then he started doing construction work with other men from the refugee camp. The work was physically demanding 57  and the pay was very little. He told me that his day’s work would conclude “at dawn . . . I would get 30 to 35 rupees [about US .21 cents] and go home” (Interview, February 1, 2018, translated from Pashto). Living Conditions. The Angars lived in a five-bedroom house which was situated on a steep slope and it was a struggle to reach the door as there were no proper stairs. The focal participant, Seemena, shared a room with her three nieces: Jannath (9), Habiba (6), and Wowrah (7). At the back of the room was a pile of mattresses, pillows, and blankets. On the windowsill, there were notebooks from Seemena’s English, math, Urdu, science, and social studies classes in previous grades. Except for her Urdu notebook, most of the writing in these notebooks was in English. Seemena’s Quran, Separah (Quran primer), and Dua (supplication) books lay wrapped in a special cloth on top of the notebooks. Other than these texts, I did not see any other books at the Angar's home. Outside the rooms, there was a small mud stove for cooking. A small bathroom was located near Seemena’s parents’ room. Outside the home, there was an area for the livestock. The family had four cows, two goats, and several hens and chicks.  Dawud was elderly with several health issues and had retired from work. His legs suffered from extreme pain and his two eldest sons, Yunus (47) and Toryahleh (33), regularly took him to the hospital for blood transfusions, for which either son was the donor. His medical visits added another burden to the family’s expenses. Despite the fact that all of Dawud's sons were working, they struggled financially as labor work was not always available.  Harun Sabr and His Family Harun Sabr was a nine-year-old friendly student in the first grade. He was born in Peshawar, Pakistan. His family had been in Pakistan for nearly 30 years after leaving Afghanistan to escape the war. Four years prior to the study, Harun’s family had moved back to 58  Afghanistan because they faced financial difficulty in Pakistan. As the schools in Afghanistan were located too far from his parents’ home and were unsafe because they were frequently targeted by insurgents, Harun stayed behind so he could attend school in Pakistan. Harun’s large extended family household included his grandparents and uncles, their wives, and their children. Habeebullah, his youngest uncle, was specifically in charge of looking out for Harun.  Habeebullah completed grade 12 but could not attend university because of his refugee status. He read and wrote Urdu fluently. He could also read some English words. Habeebullah’s bothers, Radwan and Omid, completed second grade and sixth grade, respectively. Their wives were all homemakers and had not attended school at all. All of the children in Harun’s extended family attended school, except for Farooq. Farooq (15) used to attend Afghan School and completed fifth grade, but stopped attending to take care of the livestock and run errands for the family.  Living Conditions. The Sabrs lived in a seven-bedroom house, including the guestroom. The guestroom is a common type of space within the home in Pakistan and Afghanistan. It has two doors, one that connects to the community and one with the home. The room’s main purpose is for community activities or events. For example, whereas in Canada people may gather to socialize and children may attend an after-school program in a community center, in Brishna this would occur in the guestroom. Harun shared a bedroom with three of his male cousins. The bedroom had four cots and an oversized metal box with clothes inside it. I did not see any books or texts in this room. However, in the grandfather’s room, on top of the closet was a Quran. Habeebullah’s room also had a small wooden bookcase. It included the Quran, Sunnah (sayings) of the Prophet (in Urdu), and various other Islamic books, also in Urdu.  There was one English language book Goodbye, Mr. Chips, that Habeebullah had read in secondary school.  59  Habeebullah and his two brothers were the only adults who worked outside of the home. They struggled to make ends meet, especially because of their large family size. Therefore, Habeebullah and his brothers did what they could by working as laborers to help meet their financial needs. Habeebullah mentioned that sometimes this was not possible. For example, only the grandparents, Haji Sabr and Aisha Sabr had Afghan passports, because the rest of the family could not afford the cost to obtain their Afghan passports. Arman Khushal and His Family Arman Khushal, an energetic seven-year-old kindergarten student with a happy disposition, was born in Islamabad, Pakistan. His family included his father Arian, his mother Waheeda, his three brothers Abderrazzaq (23), Abdulbasit (14), and Gulam (3), and his three sisters, Noora (35), Qamar-Gula (10), and Sameera (7). Like the other participants, his parents came to Pakistan as refugees in 1974 to escape the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan and had been living in Pakistan ever since.  Arian had only completed the fourth grade before leaving school to help support his family. Neither Arian nor Waheeda could read or write in any language, although Arian spoke fluent Urdu, while Waheeda spoke Pashto and rudimentary Urdu. In order to help his family financially, Arian collected plastic bottles for recycling, when he was a child. Currently, he worked at his own dry hay business, along with his sons. Abderrazzaq completed seventh grade before leaving school to help his father run the hay business. Abdulbasit was 14 years old and had completed fifth grade. He struggled at school and had decided to leave it to help pack hay in bags and transport it. Arian’s older daughter, Noora, was married and did not live with the family. The other daughters, Qamar Gula and Sameera (Arman’s twin) were in second grade and kindergarten, respectively.  60  Living Conditions. The Khushals lived in a small, three-bedroom mud house. Arman shared his bedroom with his brothers. Toward the back of the room, on top of the cabinet were four Qurans, stacked on top of one another. Other than these Qurans, I did not see any other texts at the Khushal’s home.   As indicated, the Khushals ran a dry hay business; they bought dry hay in large quantities, which they then repackaged in different smaller amounts and sold to the nearby families that had livestock. When compared to the rest of the participant families, the Khushal’s financial situation was much more stable. For example, the family did not have to worry much about lack of work. Nevertheless, the Khushals worked very hard and made many sacrifices to keep their business afloat. As an example, Arian was rarely at home; he left in the morning, came home for dinner, and then went back to work. He slept in a little room (converted from a jeep) at the hay business worksite and came home in the morning for breakfast.  Staff Participants from the Afghan School Mrs. Khan, founder of the Afghan School, had taught for more than 30 years in the United States. She held a Master’s degree in education from a university in the United States. Mrs. Khan founded the school specifically for impoverished children, such as children who worked in the streets and students from poor and refugee backgrounds.  Mr. Dost or Kakah, the security guard at the Afghan School, was a Pashto speaking Afghan living as a refugee in Pakistan. He was also the leader for the Afghan community and therefore knew many of the families. The families also sought his advice regarding their children’s progress at the school. For instance, if a parent wanted to meet with a teacher, they would first speak to Mr. Dost and then he would communicate the request to one of the co-principals. Mr. Dost was also a strong supporter of education and three of his children attended 61  the Afghan School. He played an important role in this study in that he interacted daily with the focal children. In addition, all of the focal children and their guardians had a close and trusted relationship with him. He personally accompanied me on my first visits to each of the focal children’s homes.  Mrs. Aisha taught kindergarten at the Afghan School and had been employed there for one year. She held a high school diploma and had taught at another school for one year before joining the Afghan School.  Mrs. Hajar taught English to grades one, two, and seven. She had a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the National University of Modern Languages, in Islamabad. She had been at the Afghan School for one year, but she had taught for almost 30 years. She was also the only Pashto speaking teacher at the school. Mrs. Zara taught Urdu and social studies to the grade one students. She had a BA in business and math, and a Master’s degree in Pakistan Studies from a small, private university in Punjab, Pakistan. Prior to joining the Afghan School, she taught for three years at another primary school. Mrs. Tuba taught Urdu to the grade two students, and she also taught arts and sports classes to all grades. She was working towards her BA degree in social sciences. Mrs. Tuba had been at the Afghan School for five years. Before then, she worked as a teacher for a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Pakistan that supported Afghan refugees. Many of the Afghan refugee families in Brishna knew Mrs. Tuba and considered her a close friend.  Mrs. Fowzia taught English to the grade three students and Urdu to grades six through nine. She had a Master’s degree in Urdu and a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Sargodha in Punjab, Pakistan. She had taught at the Afghan School since July 2017 and had 62  about ten years of teaching experience.  Mrs. Sarah taught social studies and math to third grade students and social studies to grades six through eight. She had a Master’s in social studies. She had been teaching at the Afghan School for seven months and this was her first teaching position  Mrs. Madinah taught Islamiat (Islamic) and Urdu to the second and fourth grade students. She also taught science classes to grades one, two, and three. She had a BA in Urdu and certificates of completion for several Arabic language courses. She had been at the Afghan School for six months and this was her first teaching position.   Data Collection As noted, data collection for this qualitative study used ethnographic methods. My objective was to develop rich descriptions of the ways language and literacy were enacted and practiced within the homes, schools, and communities of the focal Afghan refugee children and their families. Data collection included participant observation, semi-structured interviews, a reflective journal, and photos. Data collection occurred over a five-month period from January to May 2018. See Table 3.1 for a summary of all data collection. Below, I describe in detail each data collection method.        63  Table 3.1 Data Collection Participants Number and name of participants Data collection method Frequency Location(s) Duration Language Focal children 4 (Safa, Seemena, Harun, Arman)  Semi-structured interviews  3 times  Home School Community  20-35 minutes Pashto (translated to English) Parents 4 (Sajjad, Dawud, Habeebullah, Arian)  Semi-structured interviews 3 times Home 30-60 minutes Pashto (translated to English) Teachers (Interviews conducted in English- no translator) 4 (Mrs. Hajar, Mrs. Zara, Mrs. Madinah, Mrs. Fowzia)  Semi-structured interviews 2 times School 45-60 minutes English  Teachers (interviews conducted in Urdu-co-principals served as translator) 3 (Mrs. Aisha, Mrs. Sarah, Mrs. Tuba) Semi-structured interviews 2 times School 45-60 minutes Urdu with interpreter (translated to English) Mosque teacher (co-Pashto speaking teacher served as translator)  1 (Qari Burhan) Semi-structured interview 1 time Mosque  35 minutes Urdu with interpreter (translated to English) Security guard 1 (Mr. Dost) Semi-structured interview 1 time School 30 minutes Pashto (translated to English)  School Founder 1 (Mrs. Khan) Semi-structured interview 1 time School 40 minutes English   Focal children 4 (Safa, Seemena, Harun, Arman) Participant observation 1 time/week for 18 weeks At home, at school, and in the community  2 hours Fieldnotes written in English N/A N/A Artefacts (photos, assignments) N/A At home, at school, and in the community N/A Photos of artefacts in Urdu and English (translated to English) 64  Interviews Interviews were an important component of this research study as they allowed me to gather information regarding language and literacy in the lives of the participants. Spradley (1979) emphasized that interviewing begins with building rapport with participants. In order to build rapport with the participants, I followed the rules of Pashtunwali in terms of making sure that what I asked was appropriate and in line with the Pashtun culture. For example, in Pashtunwali, there is an emphasis that you begin interviewing and speaking with participants with their own life story and situation. Thus, my first interview questions centered on having the parents and guardians share their family history, their migration from Afghanistan and their current challenges and any pressing issues that I could help with. The interviews used in this study were semi-structured, meaning “the researcher asks informants a series of predetermined but open-ended questions” (Given, 2008, p. 810). Although the researcher has more control over the questions or topics in the interview (Given, 2008), it is open in that “there is no fixed range of responses to each question” (Given, 2008, p. 810). Using semi-structured interviews helped me guide the interview and included questions that were related to my research questions. However, it was quite open ended; for example, some parents/guardians talked extensively about the natural beauty and resources in their provinces in Afghanistan and other chose to talk about the lack of security and lack of schools available in their provinces. I then had a chance to probe and ask questions pertaining to aspect of their provinces that related to my questions and if the participant wanted to elaborate, he or she could. In essence, the main benefit of using interviews allowed me to find out “what is in and on someone else’s mind” (Patton, 1990, p. 278). A limitation is also that some participants “may be reluctant to share what is on their minds” (Hatch, 2002, p. 92). Below, I describe, in detail, the interviews conducted with the different 65  participants as well as the focus of each of the interviews. Interview questions for all participants (e.g. parents/guardians, focal children, teachers, etc.) can be found in Appendix B. Interviews with the Focal Children  I interviewed the focal children three times, at the beginning, middle and end of the study. The first semi-structured interviews were conducted in Pashto at the children’s homes and lasted between 20 and 35 minutes. These focused primarily on getting to know each focal child. For example, I asked the focal children to tell me about their section of the bedroom8 and to show me some of their toys and the games they played. I used a black SONY audio recorder about four inches long with a built-in-USB that connected easily to my laptop, and I used my iPhone as a backup for each interview. I did not audio record these first interviews, as this was a new practice for the children. For example, I noted: “Safa asked me twice if I was going to record what she said. When I informed her that I would, she asked me if I could please interview her another day. I then asked her if she would like me not to record and instead take notes on the interview and she agreed excitedly” (Fieldnotes, February 12, 2018). Therefore, I decided it was better to conduct the first round of interviews without the audio recording; however, I wrote summaries of these interviews in my reflective journal. As the children became comfortable with me and the research process, they allowed me to audio record our interviews. I eased them into the practice by explaining that it was a tool to help me. I demonstrated this by repeating the alphabet or speaking in Pashto to the focal child and then replayed it and we would both laugh. The second interviews took place in April 2018 and, as I mentioned, I audio recorded                                                  8 None of the focal children had their own room, rather they shared a room with their siblings or other relatives living in the house. 66  them. The questions asked in this interview focused primarily on the children’s schooling experiences. For instance, I asked them to describe a school day, or show me their schoolwork (e.g., what they were writing, drawing, or reading). I also inquired about their language use at school, including what languages they spoke and where at school they spoke those languages. In addition, I inquired if they spoke Pashto at school, and, if so, where specifically (e.g., classroom, recess) they spoke it.  The third interview was conducted in May 2018 and was also audio recorded. I told the focal children about what I had observed and gave them an opportunity to ask me any questions. My questions focused on what they did when they were bored and the activities they engaged in at home in the evening. This interview also probed for information about their plans, such as what they wanted to be when they grew up. I asked these questions in order to understand the children’s aspirations (or lack of aspirations) for their future.  Interviews with the Parents and Guardians  I conducted three semi-structured interviews with the fathers or male guardians of the focal children. The first interviews took place at the end of January and beginning of February. All the interviews were conducted in Pashto at the participants’ homes, and each one lasted between 30 and 60 minutes. The goal of the first interview was to become acquainted; for example, I asked the parents or guardians to tell me about the other members of their family, such as their names, ages, and occupations. I also asked about the parent’s or guardian’s occupation in Islamabad and the types of skills required to perform their work.  The second interviews focused on the parent’s or guardian’s educational experiences.  The second interview with Dawud Angar was conducted on April 17, 2018 and with Arian Khushal on April 24, 2018. Habeebullah Sabr and Sajjad Noor were not available for the second 67  interview and this interview was rescheduled and conducted with them on May 13, 2018. [I could not interview the parents around the same time due to their work and personal demands at home.] Of those parents/guardians who had attended school, I asked them what type of school they had attended (e.g., public school, religious school). Of those who had not attended formal school, I asked them why they had not attended school and whether they believed that attending school would have improved their lives and in what way. Similarly, I wanted to know what literacy meant to them, how they practiced literacy in their homes, and how people in their community used literacy.  The third interview focused on asking the parents and guardians about things I had observed or that they had spoken about that was unclear to me. This interview also provided them with an opportunity to ask me questions.  Interviews with the Staff at the Afghan School  I conducted and audio recorded two interviews with the focal children’s teachers (the teachers mentioned previously) at the Afghan School. One interview was conducted at the beginning and one at the end of the study. The interviews were conducted in English with four teachers, and in Urdu with three teachers, with the co-principals serving as translators (described in detail later). Each interview lasted approximately 45 to 60 minutes. The first interview concentrated on the teachers’ backgrounds and experiences and the Afghan students. For example, I asked about their teaching qualifications, and what they found enjoyable and challenging about their jobs as teachers. I also asked contextual questions about the Afghan School, including asking them to describe their teaching experiences and the students the school served. In addition, I asked them to talk about the challenges that the Afghan students faced, and the role of first language at school. In the second interview, my questions focused on learning 68  more about the classes the teachers taught, how they defined literacy, what skills or aspects of the Afghan culture were used or studied in the classroom.9 Lastly, I had the teachers talk about what they thought about students speaking their first language at school and if they believed that the Afghan School should find a way to help students develop and maintain their first language.  I interviewed Mr. Dost, the school’s security guard and a community leader, on April 16, 2018. The interview was audio recorded at the Afghan School. The interview was in Pashto and lasted for about 30 minutes. In the interview, I asked Mr. Dost to tell me about himself, his job at the school, and his life as a refugee. I also asked him about the role of the school in the Afghan refugee community. For example, I asked him, “Do you think this school is meeting the needs of Afghan refugee students? If yes, how, and if no, why not?” Additionally, I asked Mr. Dost if the Afghan School should support Pashto language and literacy development, and if so how.  I interviewed Mrs. Khan on April 11, 2018. The interview was audio recorded, conducted in English and took place at the Afghan School. The interview lasted for about 40 minutes. In the interview, I asked about the school’s mission and the criteria used for hiring teachers. For example, I asked, “What characteristics do you look for in teachers when hiring?” Furthermore, I asked about the school’s literacy curriculum and how and if the school supported the Afghan children’s first language at the school.                                                     9 For example, teachers were asked “Are there topics, knowledge or other resources related to Afghanistan or the Afghan culture that are used in your class?” If the teacher answered “yes,” I followed up by asking “Could you please give me an instance when this happened? What was the activity?” 69  Interview with the Mosque Teacher  I interviewed Qari Burhan (Harun’s mosque teacher) on May 7, 2018. The interview was conducted in Urdu with a co-Pashtun mosque teacher serving as a translator. The 35-minute interview took place at the mosque and was audio recorded. In the interview, I asked about Qari Burhan’s own educational background and about what kind of learning students engaged in at the mosque. I asked about what was read in the mosque and in what language. I also asked questions about what languages were encouraged at the mosque and if there were any languages that students were expected to speak at the mosque.  Observational Fieldnotes Observational fieldnotes are a common method of collecting data in qualitative research and has several affordances. For example, Spradley (1980) noted that, “participation allows you to experience activities directly, to get a feel of what events are like, and to record your own perceptions” (p. 51). For example, observing Harun partake in the Naseehath (moral storytelling) allowed me to see how this event is structured, what are the rules for participating in this event, and how this event connected to the family’s literacy beliefs (described in detail in Chapter 5). At the same time, being a participant observer allows a researcher to understand social practices that are normally hidden from the public gaze (Spradley, 1980). For example, this helped me to understand why some parents/guardians viewed themselves as blind because they could not read and write; this understanding required that I understood their view of literacy and their life experiences, including the difficulties and challenges they faced and continued to face in Islamabad as refugees. Similarly, since my goal was to generate rich, in-depth descriptions, I observed each of the focal children regularly in their immediate environments once a week for a total of 18 weeks. This included observing them when they were at home, when they were out in 70  the community (e.g., shopping or at the mosque), and during school (e.g., in the classroom and on the playground). I observed each child in two-hour periods at school and at their homes (e.g., two hours at school and two hours at home). I continued to observe them if they went outside to play or run errands in the community during that time. At school, I observed the children through all aspects of their day including while in their English, Urdu, math, science, Islamiat, and art classes and during recess. I aimed to schedule my visits with each focal child at school at different times of the day in order to create a composite picture of their daily experiences. This meant I sometimes observed the focal child in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and sometimes when the school day was close to ending. When visiting focal children at home, I strove to be respectful of the families and their privacy. For example, each day I visited a child, I walked home from school with them. Then, when we got close to their home, I informed the child that I would not come to the house for approximately thirty or forty minutes. I did this to allow the focal child to eat and relax and for the child to spend some time at home, prior to my observations. While I waited, I reviewed the notes I had taken during the school observation and I highlighted things that were unclear to me, such as what happened during an activity in class that the focal child had engaged in at school, as well as points that I felt allowed me to get children’s perspectives. Then, during my in-home visit (if the opportunity arose), I asked the focal child for further information to clarify. I also made fieldnotes to capture what I observed of the activities and events as they happened. Sometimes, I was unable to write fieldnotes during an activity or event because I was involved in the activity myself or my writing would cause a distraction for the focal child I was observing. In those cases, I briefly jotted down key words or phrases regarding what I was observing. I then filled in my fieldnotes as soon as possible after the session, but before leaving the site.  71  The purpose of my visits to the focal children’s home was to observe their literacy and language activities and events in the home. Spradley (1979) referred to participant observation as “a strategy for both listening to people and watching them in natural setting” (p. 32). For example, I focused on the languages the focal children used at home, and the languages spoken to them by the adults. Similarly, I noted the languages they used when they were interacting and playing with other children. In addition, I made note of the different kinds of resources and materials such as prayer beads, Islamic calligraphy, or Qurans that were visible or that were used by the family members and the focal children during any language and literacy activities or events. My observation, in part, also focused on how the extended family members, siblings, and parents were engaged in language and literacy activities with the focal children. For example, I observed the interactions between the focal child and their family members (e.g., Safa translating for her father or using her supplication book to teach her sibling; Arman communicating with his siblings in Pashto).   While in the community with focal children, I noted instances when the children read, wrote, or spelled words. I also focused on the language(s) the focal child used in the community and what languages people spoke to the children. Similarly, I was able to observe literacy and language events on special occasions and different contexts, such as Arman’s brother’s wedding, Safa’s Quran completion ceremony, and at a presentation the students at the Afghan School prepared for their parents. While observing them at school, I focused on the language and literacy events and activities that the focal children were exposed to or engaged in. For example, I noted what language the child used in the classroom and during recess. I also observed the focal child as he or she interacted with the other children (Afghan and non-Afghan); in particular, I noted the 72  language the child used in these different instances. Similarly, I focused on the reading and writing activities, tasks, and assignments the focal children engaged in at school. For example, I paid attention to the language students read in during their Science or Social Studies classes, as well as the language(s) that were used to discuss the texts. Role of the Researcher In the children’s homes and in the community, I took on the role of a participant observer. This meant that if the focal child invited me or asked me to participate in his/her activity or game, I engaged in the activity and observed at the same time. For instance, when Arman asked me to play a marble game, I happily agreed and tried my best to play according to his directions. Similarly, in the community, I also greeted the shopper when the children were shopping and offered my opinion when the focal child asked me about something. In contrast, at school I took on the role of a non-participant observer. I sat at the back of the classroom and observed the focal child and took notes. Occasionally, I walked around the room when students were working on their classwork to ask the focal child to describe what he/she was doing or to translate for me what the teacher said, as I do not speak Urdu. I did not help the children with their classwork or assignments. I noticed that my role as a non-participant observer helped the students (including the focal children) see me as an adult who was also learning at their school, and not as a teacher. I aimed to present myself more as a learner than a teacher, and I believed that doing so would help the focal children feel comfortable describing things about their school or their teachers that they may have not felt comfortable sharing with a person they viewed as a teacher. 73  Reflection Journal  I wrote in a reflection journal or “jotted” (Miles et at., 2014, p. 94) regularly throughout the research as a way to talk about my “presuppositions, choices, experiences, and actions during the research process” (Mruck & Breuer, 2003, p. 3). The goal of a reflection journal is in part to help the researcher examine their own assumptions, beliefs, and subjectivities (Ortlipp, 2008). I concur with Ortlipp (2008) that using a reflection journal “enabled me to make my experiences, opinions, thoughts, and feelings visible and acknowledged part of the research design” (p. 703). For example, in the beginning of my fieldwork when I noticed the male focal children trying to copy from their classmates at school to complete assignments, I was a bit bothered that the teachers did not notice this, since I viewed the children’s behavior as cheating. I wrote my views about these observations and described my own feelings with regard to what I was noticing. When I wrote my regular “memos from the field” to my committee members (explained and described in the data analysis section), I included some of my views on the male focal children’s behavior pertaining to cheating on school assignments. The committee members, suggested that I observe these behaviors even more closely and suggested that I ask the children questions about if they sometimes do not know the answer to questions in the school assignments or if they find the tasks challenging. As a result, the reflection journal allowed me a place to write about my experiences, views, and understanding of what I was observing. It also enabled me to share these with my committee members in an effort to guide me as a researcher and to reflect critically on my own understandings. In the data analysis section, I elaborate further on my use of the reflection journal and provide an excerpt to explain how using it helped me to reflect on my data more closely.  74  Photos of Artefacts Artefacts include children’s work, school records, official documents (e.g., report cards or progress reports), and any materials used in the setting being studied (Hatch, 2002). Artefacts are important in that they provide another insight into the way people act and think (Hatch, 2000; Hodder, 1994). Hatch (2000) noted that one of the advantages of data such as artefacts is that “they can be gathered without disturbing the natural flow of human activity” (p. 119) and can be especially useful when engaging in triangulation. For instance, as I will describe later, the photos of Arman’s homework diary were an important source of evidence that complemented my observations and interviews with him, his teachers, and his father. However, as Hatch (2000) noted, using data such as artefacts should complement other sources of data (e.g. interviews, participant observation), as using them in isolation can lead to misrepresenting events and social contexts. Photos were an important source of data in this study as they provided glimpses of the focal children and the language and literacy events or activities they engaged in. The photos I collected included photographs of the children, their schoolwork (e.g., drawings, writing), toys, games, and items they made. To contextualize the setting, I also took photographs of the school and of things found in the community. At the study’s onset, I gave each family a folder and explained that the purpose of the folder was to hold items like a drawing or written letter that the focal children had produced and that they wanted to show me later. I purposely did not specify exactly what they should put in the folder so as not to influence or restrict the type of materials they chose. However, this method was unsuccessful as none of the children or parents/guardians 75  used the folder.10 In retrospect, if I had reminded the parents and children more often, I may have been more successful in collecting artefacts from the children. However, I did not remind the children as I did not want them to view this as an assignment. Despite this, I was able to take photos of artefacts at home, at school, and in the community, throughout the duration of the study. Table 3.2 lists the subjects of the photos and where they were taken.  Table 3.2 Photos Collected for this Study and Where They Were Taken Subjects of the Photos Setting  School and areas of the focal children’s homes   School and home Focal children’s schoolwork (e.g., writing samples, books, planner pages, drawings, workbook pages, selected pages from textbooks)  School Focal children at play and doing activities at home or in the community (e.g., playing marbles, using a book for an activity, reciting a supplication or engaging in prayer)  Home and community Focal children either posing for the camera or engaging in an activity (e.g. writing on the board)   School and home The community, the market, shops, and fruit carts   Community  Photos of me, the parents and guardians, the community leader, and the focal children   Home and community (e.g., at Arman’s brother’s wedding)                                                    10 Harun and Safa misplaced their folders while Seemena brought me the empty folder and explained that she had nothing in it. Arman’s folder contained a notebook page with the names of Allah written on it that he had found on February 13, 2018 on his way home from school. 76  Data Analysis In qualitative research, both the data collection and data analysis take place in a recursive manner. In this study, data analysis was ongoing as I collected data. The ongoing analysis assisted me with identifying emerging patterns and themes (e.g., focal children’s use of first language at home and teachers’ views of first language at school). In addition, the categories derived from the initial analysis of the data were modified and changed as the data collection progressed. While analyzing the data, I focused on discovering meaningful categories of activities, events, or ideas. Finally, I connected the different categories of activities, events, or ideas that had a linkage or commonality among them and formed interpretations (Marshall & Rossman, 2011; Merriam, 2009). My analysis of the data was informed by Miles, Huberman, and Saldaña’s (2014) strategy for qualitative data analysis. Below, I first describe transcribing and gathering data into Microsoft Word application and the process of deductive coding, prior to explaining the three steps outlined by Miles et al. (2014) and how I followed each step.  Transcribing and Collating the Data As the study commenced, I created a document folder in Microsoft Word application for each focal child. Each folder contained all the data pertaining to the focal child and his or her guardian as they were written. For example, Arman Khushal’s folder contained all the transcripts of each interview I conducted with him, his father, and his teachers. Furthermore, I included all the fieldnotes I wrote and the photographs I took of him and the artefacts that pertained to him along with their descriptions. I organized the information chronologically by date and source of data in each focal child’s folder. Regarding interviews, I was the sole interviewer for all interviews conducted with the focal children, their parents/guardians, the school’s security guard, the school founder, and Mrs. Hajar, Mrs. Zara, Mrs. Madinah and Mrs. Fowzia. For example, 77  with the focal children, the parents/guardians, and the security guard, I conducted the interviews in Pashto. With the school founder, I conducted the interview in English. On the other hand, Mrs. Aisha, Mrs. Sarah, and Mrs. Tuba preferred the Urdu language for the interviews, even though they spoke and understood some English. The co-principals agreed to serve as translators for them. This meant that one of the co-principals was present during each of my interviews with Mrs. Aisha, Mrs. Sarah, and Mrs. Tuba. The principal translated my question to each of these teachers in Urdu and Mrs. Aisha, Mrs. Tuba, and Mrs. Sarah answered the question in Urdu. The principal then translated the question to me in English. I am confident with the translation service provided by the co-principals. For example, the teacher spoke for about minute and then paused so that the co-principals could translate the information to me. Meanwhile, while the principal was translating, I asked the teachers to listen carefully to the translation and to nod to indicate that the translation was correct from their understanding, based on what they had understood of the English translation. This was a helpful practice, and the teachers sometimes elaborated and provided a further example to help me understand their views. Sometimes the teachers used English to help explain their responses. Furthermore, even though the co-principals served as  translators for these teachers, I made sure that when I asked my question, I always looked at the teacher who was being interviewed.  I also transcribed all of the fieldnotes and interviews into English. For example, I listened to each interview first to become familiar with it and then translated word for word from Pashto to English, or English to English (in the case of teachers with whom English was used for interviews). When translating from Pashto into English, I retained some Pashto words in my English translation as these were either common words that I felt readers would know (e.g., Assalyum alaikum). I also used Pashto for words that were significant when I believed it would 78  be better to include the word itself and provide some explanation with it, as I did with the word Nar twoob (See page 140). I strived to translate the words of each participant as closely as possible to their speech. For example, for the teachers with whom interviews were conducted in English, I maintained their English grammatical structures in the interviews but added clarifying phrases if needed. However, I chose not to note hesitations such as “umm” or “ahh.” In addition, a Pakistani post-graduate student who was fluent in Pashto, Urdu, and English helped me translate all the data from Pashto into English. For instance, the interviews with each focal child, their guardians, and their teachers were checked by the post-graduate student for accuracy. This service was particularly helpful for the interviews where the co-principals served as translators. I asked the post-graduate student to listen to the teachers’ answers in Urdu and the co-principals’ translation of the teachers’ responses and indicate if there were any major differences. He did not indicate any major differences and believed that the co-principals had genuinely captured the teachers’ responses well. The post-graduate student also assisted me with translating artefacts from Urdu into English. For example, the focal child’s written classwork or homework from Urdu was translated into English. My meetings with the post-graduate student occurred on a weekly basis over a month and each meeting consisted of two to three hours.  Deductive Coding Before I started coding, I read through each data type (I read all of the interview transcripts, fieldnotes, photo descriptions) to increase my familiarity with, and gain a holistic understanding of, the data. My codes began with my “start list” of codes or deductive coding.  For example, one of my codes was “Language(s) at home” to describe what language(s) were spoken at home. Another was “Language(s) at school,” which focused on the language(s) focal 79  children spoke and were spoken to at school. Miles et al. (2014) stated that deductive coding “comes from the conceptual framework, list of research questions, hypotheses, problem areas, and/or key variables that the researcher brings to the study” (p. 81). My deductive coding was based on my research questions and my knowledge from the literature. For instance, I used Barton and Hamilton’s (2000) definition of literacy events as “activities in which literacy plays a role and usually involves texts” (p. 8), and I made notes of any activity or event involving texts.  At the same time, it is well recognized that some ethnic minority communities rely on oral tradition which does not depend on books or printed materials to tell stories (Heath, 1982, 1983;  Luo & Tamis-LeMonda, 2017). For instance, storytelling is an important practice in many refugee communities, such as the Afghan, Somali, and Sudanese communities. It is used to pass on important values and cultural beliefs (Ong’ayi, Yildirim, & Roopnarine, 2020). Moreover, oral storytelling has been an indicator of children’s literacy success, as it usually uses a more complex language than needed in daily conversation (Kanaya & Santiago, 2019). For example, Riojas-Cortez et al. (2003) found that Latino parents and guardians used oral storytelling to promote children’s language and literacy development. Luo and Tamis-LeMonda (2017) further noted that storytelling does not require written material and may be a preferred activity among parents and guardians who have not learned the skills of reading or writing and among non-English speaking parents and guardians. For these reasons, in this thesis I also describe the Nasheehath [moral] storytelling as a literacy event. I categorize it as such because it aligns with the parents’ and guardians’ view of literacy and incorporates aspects of what they believed a literate person is. For example, as will be seen later in the thesis, many of the parents and guardians described instilling manners in people as an important component of what literacy does. As well, when describing the roles of the participants, I drew on Rogoff’s (1990) model of 80  guided participation and particularly focused on the “routine and engagements that guide children’s increasing skilled and appropriate participation in the daily activities valued in their culture” (p. 191). Therefore, for each literacy event that I observed, I tried to describe the event (e.g., the function and purpose of the event), noting the participants involved, how they were participating, as well as the language they used, the language of the text, and the physical location of the activity. My first question focused on the language and literacy practices of the focal children in three settings. For this, I developed the following codes based on my research questions: Language(s) at home, language(s) at school, language(s) in the community, literacy events at home, literacy events at school, and literacy events in the community. Table 3.2, shows the coding categories that I used for each of my research questions.              81  Table 3.3 Conceptual Matrix of Codes  Identifying characteristics of the participants  Language Literacy Other factors pertaining to language and literacy  Afghan refugee families   Language(s) at home   Literacy activities and events at home  Literacy support and resources at home  Focal children 4 to11 years old Language(s) at school Literacy activities and events at school Refugee documents (e.g., food ration cards, refugee cards)  Age/gender/ Occupation Language(s) in the community  Literacy activities and events in the community  First language support and barriers Pashtun Parents/guardians beliefs about language  Parents/guardians beliefs about literacy Family roles in language and literacy events  Muslim (role of Islam in their lives) Community leader, school founder, & teachers’ beliefs about language Community leader, school founder, & teachers’ beliefs about literacy. Teachers, mosque teachers, and friends’ roles in language and literacy   Neighbourhood/ shops/ mosques/etc. Parents/guardians views of war/instability on their language development Parents/guardians views of war/instability on their literacy development Religion and cultural practices   Procedure for Data Analysis My procedures for analyzing the qualitative data came from Miles et al. (2014). They proposed three concurrent steps: data condensation, data display, and conclusion drawing and verification.  82  Data Condensation  During data condensation, the researcher uses the research questions to sort and categorize the data. The researcher then engages in a process of selecting and simplifying as well as extracting codes and themes from transcriptions. As Miles et al. (2014) stated, data condensation starts even before data is collected. For instance, my data condensation began as soon as I decided on my conceptual framework, the research questions guiding the study, and the data collection methods I employed, such as interviews, observational fieldnotes, and taking photos of artefacts. As I collected the data, I engaged in further data condensation, which included coding, writing summaries, developing themes, and writing memos (which I describe later on).  Data Display  The researcher then represents the data in other forms such as charts, matrices, networks, or discussion. Data displays present the results of the data reduction in an accessible summary that enables the researcher to draw conclusions (Alexander, 2004). In this project, I found charts and matrices to be most useful in displaying my data, making sense of my data, and enabling me to draw conclusions. For example, I used data collection tables (described in detail later) that focused on my research questions. The data collection tables helped me to ensure that I was collecting relevant data and to clarify anything that was unclear to me. I also used matrices (described in detail later) to describe some of the literacy activities that the focal children engaged in.   83  Drawing Conclusions  During the drawing conclusions phase, the researcher interprets the main themes and draws conclusions from the patterns identified during the reading and rereading of the transcribed fieldnotes, interviews, and descriptions of artefacts. The researcher must be attuned to patterns or propositions from the very beginning of the data collection while keeping in mind that these conclusions may change until they are grounded and explicit (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). In this stage of the data analysis, I reread my data and focused on the emerging patterns and themes. As part of this process, I reviewed the notes I had made in my reflection journal and used memoing to draw conclusions. I also used the charts and matrixes to help me summarize the findings. For instance, when looking at the parents/guardians’ views on their first language, the chart helped me look at the responses of my participants simultaneously and see the similarities and differences. Rereading the data and the themes, and using the charts not only helped me become familiar with the data; it helped ensure that my conclusions were grounded in the data.  First Cycle and Second Cycle Coding  After completing the deductive coding, I began to work on each focal child’s digital folder and engaged in “first cycle coding” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 73). Miles et al. (2014) stated that first cycle coding “is a way to initially summarize segments of data” (p. 86), and that “First Cycle coding processes can range in magnitude from a single word to a full paragraph” (p. 72). During first cycle coding, I identified codes inductively. Within each focal child’s folder, I began to code all the data that pertained to the focal child, such as the interviews with their parent or guardian and the fieldnotes from observing them at home, at school, and in the community. Below, I provide an excerpt from my fieldnotes and the results of the first cycle coding exercise. 84  The initial codes are shown in bold in the following example. I will explain these particular codes in more detail following the transcript.  Class: Science Focal student: Harun Sabr Date: March 5, 2018  Mrs. Madinah begins class by asking students to sit quietly and keeps saying “ketab band karo” meaning close your books.- tr. asks class to close books-in Urdu- science- Harun Then she takes her marker and writes “Write and draw five sense?” [sic]  on the board.- tr. writes write/draw five senses-in English- science- Harun The class becomes a bit noisy as students are raising their hands to come up and write one of the senses. The teacher calls on a student and he comes up to the board.- class noisy- students raise hands to volunteer to write/draw five senses- science- Harun He begins by drawing an eye and writes “see.” The teacher asks class, in English, “Is it correct?” and class answers, in English, “Yes” and “Yes, mam.”- student draws eye and writes “see”- tr. asks if correct in English-science-Harun She then instructs the student to go back to his seat, in Urdu.- tr. Instructs student to sit-in Urdu-science- Harun Next, she calls on Afghan girl, and she places her hand on the board and uses the markers to trace her hand, while the class looks on. Harun is looking at the board intently.- Afg student traces hand- five senses- Harun focused on board- science- Harun She then writes “tooch” and again Mrs. Madinah says in Urdu, “Saheeh hey?” meaning is it correct.- Afg. Student writes “tooch”- tr. asks in Urdu if its correct- science-Harun  The class shout back with a mixed of yes and no. She then takes the marker from the student and says, in Urdu that the spelling is wrong, and changes “tooch” to “touch.”- class shouts yes and no regarding Afg. Student spelling- tr. corrects spelling- science- Harun Then she asks the class, in Urdu “touch mana?” meaning “touch means” and they yell “Chona.”- tr. asks what touch means in Urdu- students say chona- science- Harun  Next she calls on Harun and he draws a plate with what looks like rice but  does not write anything. The teacher talks to him and replies back quietly explaining his drawing.- Harun draws food on plate- does not write with drawing- tr. talks to him in Urdu about drawing- five senses- science- Harun The teacher then takes his marker and points to Harun drawing and then points to her nose, and waves with her hand, indicating the smell that would be coming from the cooked food. The class yells “Smell, smell, mam smell.” She then writes the word “smell” next to Harun drawing and ask him to sit.- class helps Harun and tr. with naming the sense portrayed in Harun’s drawing- class yells “smell”- tr. writes it-in English- science- Harun As Harun is sitting, he tells the Afghan boy next to him, in Pashto, “Raise your hand higher, than mam will see you” and he tries to raise his hand even higher.- Harun advises classmate to raise hand higher-in Pashto- science- Harun Next she calls on another student and she attempts to draw what looks like an open mouth with french fries. Before writing, she [the student] turns to Mrs. Madinah standing next to her, and asks her and the teacher says loudly  “Tasty na ye, taste” meaning, “it’s not tasty, [but] taste.”- student draws mouth for taste sense- talks to tr. about sense and tr. tells her the 85  sense is taste, not tasty-in English and Urdu- science- Harun The student then writes “tast” and the class gives a mix of yes and no, Mrs. Madinah takes the marker from her and adds an “E” to the word.- tr. corrects students spelling- adds “e” to “tast”- science- Harun Then, the teacher calls on another student to draw and write the last sense. He draws an ear and writes “hear” student draw ear and writes “hear”-science- Harun and once he sits down, the teacher asks the class to open their notebooks, in Urdu. She explains, in Urdu, that they are to draw and write all the five sense in their notebooks and mentions the word “classwork” informing the students to ensure that this is written on top of the page along with the date. – tr. tells class to copy five sense and drawing in notebook- ask them to include “classwork” and date-in Urdu- science- Harun Harun opens his notebook and begins copying from the board right away. He is writing neatly and keeps looking at the board.- Harun focused on assignment- copying five senses and drawing- science- Harun When he finishes drawing and writing, he asks Saiful for his crayons, in Pashto and he hands him a few crayons.- Harun asks for crayons- in Pashto- science- Harun Mrs. Madinah notices that they are coloring and comes to look at Harun’s and Saiful’s work. She then tells them something in Urdu, and Harun replies back, and she smiles and walks away. When I ask him what the teacher said, he tells me that she said coloring is not necessary.- Harun translates for me what tr. said- coloring not necessary- science- Harun  I followed this method when coding my fieldnotes and the interviews. As shown in the excerpt above, through the First Cycle coding process, I tried to capture the main points of the fieldnotes, beginning with labeling the activity and the subject of the class (e.g., drawing/writing five senses, science class). Similarly, I focused closely on the use of language and literacy throughout the activity. In the excerpt above, for example, I coded the language of the words written on the board, as well as the language spoken by the teacher, students and the focal child throughout the class. I noted that when interacting with the first student, the teacher asked the class in English, “Is it correct,” but asked the question in Urdu when interacting with the second student. Similarly, I also made a note of the teacher translating between languages, such as when she asks students what the word touch means in Urdu, and they reply “Chona” (“touch”). In addition, the codes highlighted the focal child’s behavior, engagement (e.g., paid attention to what was happening at the front of the class), and the use of language throughout the activity. Each code 86  ends with a dash followed by the child’s name to help me organize the fieldnotes data for each focal child, which in this case was Harun. In essence, I made an effort to follow Merriam and Tisdell’s (2016) advice during the process of inductive coding, where they propose that the researcher “be as expansive as you want in identifying any segment of data that might be useful” (p. 204, emphasis in original). After engaging in first cycle coding, I proceeded to “second cycle” or pattern coding. Second cycle coding is “a way of grouping those summaries [from the First Cycle coding] into a smaller number of categories, themes or constructs” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 86). In this stage, I reviewed the data and my initial coding, looking for patterns or repeated “behaviors, actions, norms, routines, and relationships” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 88). I then grouped the data into categories and from there into sub-categories to which I applied sub-codes. Each sub-code included the codes from the first cycle coding. Below, I provide a sample of how my fieldnotes were organized in the second cycle coding process using the same data as above. I also provide additional examples from the data from other focal children that fall under the same categories and codes. I only provide two fieldnotes entries under each code due to space restrictions. Category: Teachers’ and classmates’ use of languages of instruction (Urdu and English) at school  Code: classmates/teacher speaking (and listening) in Urdu (e.g. oral vocab, board work, etc.)  ● Mrs. Madinah begins class by asking students to sit quietly and keeps saying “ketab band karo” meaning close your books.- tr. asks class to close books-in Urdu- science- Harun  ● Teacher has two models of clocks and asked selected students, in Urdu, to come and show the time the teacher asked them to. – teacher has clocks in hand- ask selected students to show the time she indicates- math-in Urdu-  Seemena.   87  Code: classmates/teacher speaking (and listening) in English (e.g. oral vocab, board work, etc.)  ● He begins by drawing an eye and writes “see.” The teacher asks class, in English “Is it correct?” and class answers, in English, “Yes” and “Yes, mam.”- student draws eye and writes “see”- tr. asks if correct in English-science-Harun  ● Teacher takes attendance and student either says “present” or “present teacher”- tr. takes attendance-students answer in English-Arman       Category: Focal children’s use of languages of instruction at school  Code: Focal children speak in Urdu in school/classroom  ● Next she calls on Harun and he draws a plate with what look like rice and but does not write anything. The teacher talks to him and replies back quietly explaining his drawing.- Harun draws food on plate- does not write with drawing- talks to tr. about drawing-in Urdu- five senses- science- Harun  ● Safa stands up and share her story, while also using her hands to demonstrate part of her story about the parrot. - Safa shares story of parrot- uses hand to demonstrate part of her parrot story-in Urdu- Urdu class- Safa  Category: Focal children’s use of first language at school  Code: Focal children use Pashto in the classroom  ● As Harun is sitting, he tells the Afghan boy next to him, in Pashto, “Raise your hand higher, than mam will see you” and he tries to raise his hand even higher.- Harun advises classmate to raise hand higher-in Pashto- science- Harun  ● Arman is talking with Liaqat and telling him that he has bought new stickers that show different vehicles. Liaqat tells him, “Show me, I have six rupees” and Arman tells him “When it is recess, I can show you” and Liaqat continues and says that he wants “big stickers” and Arman tells him that he will give him the bigger ones.– Arman and Liaqat talking about stickers- in Pashto- morning circle- Arman  Code: Focal children assist or explain to classmates Urdu words, phrases, concept in oral Pashto   ● An Afghan girl turns to Safa and asks her, in Pashto, how to say “good memories” in Urdu. Safa clarifies and asks her if she wants to say “I have 88  good memories of my village” and the girl nods. She then says the sentence for her and the girl raises her hand to share it with her classmates.- Safa helps classmates with Urdu phrase- village assignment- Urdu- Safa.  ● Najwa asks Seemena, in Pashto, what the difference is between Naat and Mili Naghma. Seemena replies in Pashto, that Naat is a religious poem or song, and that Mili Naghma is the country’s [national] song. – Seemena helps explains difference between two words- religious song- national song- Prep for Quiz-Social studies- Seemena.   Category: English print at school  Code: English print use during classwork (board writing, reading, etc.)   ● Then she takes her marker and writes “Write and draw five sense?” on the board.- tr. writes write/draw five senses-in English- science- Harun  ● 1. A man help old man 2. A good citizen they help to keep their neighborhood clean. 3.Good citizen help others. 4.Good citizen always care about their country. – tr writes students’ sentences about good citizen qualities-in English- Social studies- Seemena.   Code: Classmates/teacher reading and writing in English print  ● He begins by drawing an eye and writes “see.” The teacher asks class, in English “Is it correct?” and class answers, in English, “Yes” and “Yes, mam.”- student draws eye and writes “see”- tr. asks if correct in English-science-Harun  ● She then writes “tooch” and again Mrs. Madinah says in Urdu, “Saheeh hey?” meaning is it correct.- Afg. Student writes “tooch”- tr. asks in Urdu if its correct- science-Harun  Code: Classmates/teacher correct(s) or assist(s) student’s reading and writing English print   ● The class shout back with a mixed of yes and no. She then takes the marker from the student and says, in Urdu that the spelling is wrong, and changes “tooch” to “touch.”- class shouts yes and no regarding Afg. Student spelling- tr. corrects spelling- science- Harun  ● Teacher asks Tahirah to write a sentence in English with the photo of the cat that seems to be sad. Tahirah writes “Cat mad” another student shouts “sad, sad.” Teacher says, “The cat is sad, the cat is sad” Then asks the class to repeat it and helps Tahirah write the sentence on the board. –Tr. asks student 89  to write sentence - helps student write sentence- phonics - English class- Arman.    Code: Teacher translates English (L3) print into Urdu (L2)  ● Then she asks the class, in Urdu “touch mana?” meaning “touch means” and they yell “Chona.”- tr. asks what touch means in Urdu- students say chona- science- Harun    ● Then the teacher reads each sentence and translates the sentence along with the students. She states loudly, “Simple mana ____” [simple means ___] students answer “sadah”, “Flying mana ___” and students yell “Urna.”- tr. asks class what “simple” and “flying” means in Urdu- students state the Urdu meaning of the words- English class- Safa  Category: Focal children’s active engagement at school  Code: Focal children focus on their own work and proud of their work  ● Harun opens his notebook and begins copying from the board right away. He is writing neatly and keeps looking at the board.- Harun focused on assignment- copying five senses and drawing- science- Harun  ● Another boy is helping Arman with the numbers and Arman tells him, in Pashto, “Do your work, I know” and he continues writing the numbers in order in the chart. – Classmates attempts to help Arman- Arman rejects the help- “I know”- math class- Arman  The process from First Cycle coding to Second Cycle coding served to “pull together a lot of material from First Cycle coding into more meaningful and parsimonious units of analysis” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 86). Therefore, the First Cycle coding summarized the data, whereas the Second Cycle coding allowed me to organize the summarized data into categories—a process sometimes referred to as axial coding (Charmaz, 2014)—which helps identity an explanation, configuration, or an “emergent theme” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 86). Second Cycle coding is an ongoing process and may involve things like renaming a category to be more precise or demoting categories to subcategories (and vice-versa). As Miles et al. (2014) remind us, Second 90  Cycle coding is “not always a precise science—it’s primarily an interpretive act” (p. 90). For example, initially, I created the code “Focal children speak in English in school/classroom,” but later realized that unlike focal children’s experience with Pashto and Urdu, some of the focal children struggled to speak and answer in English when their teachers asked them to. I realized I needed an additional code to explain that some of the focal children struggle with speaking in English in the classroom and placed these instances under the code “Focal children struggle to answer/speak in English.” Also, the process of coding from first to second cycle allowed me to examine my data more closely. For instance, when engaging in first cycle coding, I found that teachers regularly translated English words, sentences, and phrases into Urdu. Through the second cycle coding, I realized that not only did the teachers frequently translate from English to Urdu; they sometimes retained the English words in their Urdu translation. For example, one teacher used the English words “water” and “sunlight” when describing, in Urdu, the things that plants need to grow. I placed instances in the data where the teacher retained English words in their Urdu translation under the sub-code “Teacher retains English words in Urdu translation.”  The two cycle coding process was time consuming and required me to continually reread my data and revisit my codes to ensure that the codes captured the data as best as possible. This resulted in ongoing modification of certain codes.  Further Analysis  The data analysis also involved checking in with the participants throughout the study to confirm accuracy and to ensure that I had not misunderstood any of the information I had gathered. This process was essential as it helped “fill the gaps in interviews and informal conversations” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 70). I shared summaries of my fieldnotes with teachers and, parents and guardians regularly and shared brief information with the focal children about what I 91  was writing. In other words, I provided verbal summaries to confirm that I had gathered accurate information from the participants. I checked in briefly with the parents or guardians when they dropped their children at school or I met them in their homes. I describe this process in more detail later in the chapter. Similarly, while walking with the focal children weekly, I shared some information about what I had learned about them and gave them a chance to ask me any questions. Toward the end of the study, I also provided transcripts of the interviews to each teacher that I interviewed. I asked them to look through the transcripts and let me know if they had any concerns or wanted to change or clarify anything that they had said. Most of the teachers were happy with the interview transcripts and did not make any changes. Two teachers, Mrs. Zara and Mrs. Madinah, indicated that their English-speaking abilities were at a beginner’s level and asked me to correct anything they said for clarity. However, I decided to keep their original words and informed them that I might add clarifying words or phrases in parenthesis if necessary.  I also reread my field notes, rechecked my transcriptions of the semi-structured interviews, and wrote memos to capture my immediate thoughts. Miles et al. (2014) described a memo as “a brief or extended narrative that documents the researcher’s reflections and thinking processes about the data” (p. 95). I wrote memos throughout the data collection and data analysis. I found the practice particularly useful as it helped me with my “code choices and operational definition” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 96) and with capturing “emergent patterns, themes, concepts, and assertions” (p. 96). I wrote the following memo about the theme “Parents/guardian want children to learn to read and write in Pashto/L1- Oral Pashto not enough”:   92  November 26, 2018  Theme: Parents/guardians want children to learn to read and write in Pashto/L1-Oral Pashto not enough  I chose to label this theme beginning with the parents/guardians’ desire for their children or children in their household to learn to read and write in Pashto and added the second part “Oral Pashto not enough” because this was an important component of the parents/guardians’ goal for first language. While parents/guardians acknowledged that they and their children or children in their household spoke Pashto fluently, they mentioned that this is not enough [in addition to speaking Pashto, the parents/guardians wanted their children to be able to read and write it as well]. On the other hand, many teachers referenced the Afghan children’s oral Pashto to justify that the children already “knew” Pashto or L1. This theme specifically highlights the parents/guardians desire for their children to know the skills of reading and writing in Pashto/L1.   In this manner, my memos helped me extend my thinking about the themes, make connections between the data (e.g., the parents’ desire for their children to learn to read and write in Pashto vs. the teachers stating that Afghan children already know spoken Pashto), and determine the properties that were associated with each category.  Similarly, I wrote “memos from the field” to my committee members on a regular basis. These memos consisted of essential information about what I was learning from my participants and included my questions and concerns. The committee members provided important feedback that helped me clarify things or assisted me in finding a solution to an issue I was experiencing. For example, in one of the memos, I explained that some of the focal children experienced difficulties with schoolwork. The committee members asked if the school provided academic support, such as a homework center for students who needed extra help. I was able to find out that the school did not provide any such support to the students but learned that there were many private homework centers in homes within the community. 93  I also engaged in jotting or writing in my reflective journal throughout the duration of the study. Miles et al. (2014) described jotting as “the researcher’s fleeting and emergent reflections and commentary on issues that emerge during fieldwork” (p. 94). It can include things like “personal reactions to some participants’ remarks or actions, inferences on the meaning of what a key participant was ‘really’ saying during an exchange that seemed somehow important” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 94). I used jotting regularly to reflect on my observations or after an interview. Below, I provide an excerpt from my journal that describes my reflections after an interview with one of the focal children’s parents. Participant: Dawud Angar Interview 2 Location: Home-guest room Date: April 17, 2018  I was amazed at how education and literacy were described by Dawud and it is similar to what I am hearing of the other participants too, including the security guard. Dawud described the person who had literacy as someone having “eyes” and the one without it as being “blind.” His definition of literacy centered on the skill of reading and writing. Therefore, a literate person to Dawud was one who could read and write. His respect for literacy (one who could read and write) was, I felt to such an extent that he described himself as a blind person and furthermore as a “blind rooster” meaning he has in fact not reached his full humanity as a result of not being able to read and write.  He amazes me because he is an elderly man and to see him care so much about the skills of reading and writing. I was also a bit surprised to learn that he cared so much about his daughter’s education. [I found this surprising because Dawud mentioned that during his lifetime it was uncommon for girls to go to school as their main tasks were bound to the home and taking care of the children.] However, it may also not be surprising because he kept reflecting on his life, and what he is able to do and not do, especially in regard to reading and writing. So, like when he receives a letter, he has to ask Seemena to read it.   Having to have Seemena read the letters and print that the family receives may also serve as a reminder to him that had he gone to school and learned to read and write, he would be able to read the letters on his own. This way, he would also have been “independent” which is one aspect of reading and writing that he mentioned previously- that reading and writing allows one to be independent and not in need of others. And the fact that he may care so much about Seemena’s education could be that he does not want her to struggle like he is with reading and writing and instead may want her to have an easier life, one with a level of dependency. 94  In this way, jotting helped me reflect on important points related to language and literacy. As I was writing, I reflected on the fact that I am surprised Dawud cared about reading and writing to such an extent. However, as I continued to write, it occurred to me that perhaps I should not be too surprised by this as he was an elderly man reliant on his daughter to read and interpret texts for him. Furthermore, he had mentioned the independence that reading and writing allowed a person and because he did not know these skills, he could not have that independence. Throughout the data analysis I also used photos of artefacts,  events, and places (e.g., school, classroom). I created a digital folder on my iPhone, using the “Notes” application for each focal child and included each child’s photos along with descriptions. These photos were also included in each child’s Microsoft Word data folder (which included interview transcripts, fieldnotes, etc.) along with their descriptions, as mentioned previously. Photos of the school and the community were stored in a folder titled “Sadiq’s Research Photos.” The purpose of the photos was to supplement my fieldnotes. They were particularly useful in terms of providing additional details and examples from my fieldnotes, especially in instances when I found taking extensive fieldnotes a challenge. For instance, when describing the abundance of print materials in the school, I took photos of the materials that I saw in the school and later used the photos to add the phrases that appeared in the school to my fieldnotes. Under each photo, I wrote a description. For the photos of children, I noted the date and the name of the child, and what he or she was doing. However, when I took photos of the children’s documents or assignments, I made sure to include information such as the name of the focal child, the date, the type of assignment (e.g., quiz, homework, classwork), the language of the document (e.g., Urdu, English), and any other pertinent information, such as the score the child received on the assignment. When analyzing, I opened each focal child’s digital folder in the “Notes” application and coded each 95  one. For example, one of the photos I took was of Arman’s notebook page showing a group of Jolly phonics words that he glued onto his notebook page. Underneath the photo, I wrote, “Arman-May 7, 2018-classwork-English- Teacher directs students, including Arman, in English and motions with her hand, to glue the words into their notebook. Arman starts gluing immediately. The teacher then reads each word and ask students to repeat after her, Arman is repeating and smiling.” I coded this photo “Arman- English- Jolly phonics- “Word box 1”- tr. reads and asks class to read after her.” After coding the photos, I organized them into one file in the “Notes” application to help me access and find them easily. I organized them into groups such as “Photos of school, photos of community, photos of assignments, photos of children.” Within the “Photos of assignment” folder I had “literacy/language assignment photos”, “textbooks/workbook photos,” and “other subjects (math, art) photos.”  Photos were also helpful in terms of confirming some of my findings (described later in the “confirmability” section) and sometimes were used to prompt participants to describe or provide further information about something. For example, I used one of the photos of Arman finding and keeping safe a piece of paper, which he found on the street, bearing the name of Allah. When I showed the photo to Arman’s father, he believed that Arman’s practice of keeping such papers safe was part of the moral lesson he had instilled in his children. Therefore, the photos were useful throughout the study. However, other than coding and organizing them into groups, I did not analyze the photos in depth, but rather used them to supplement my fieldnotes and to provide further information or insight into the children’s lives.  96  Interpretation and Verification of Findings Using my fieldnotes, the interview transcripts, my memos and the descriptions and photos of the artefacts, I attached preliminary meaning and significance to patterns across the language and literacy events taking place within each focal child’s home, school, and community, and the parents/guardians beliefs regarding language and literacy. In order to generate meaning from the data, I focused on the relations between the variables (the focal children’s progress in school and their views on the use of their first language at school), identifying intervening variables, building a chain of evidence across the data (from the fieldnotes, interviews, and artefacts), and making conceptual coherence (Miles et al., 2014).  Throughout the process of analyzing the data, I used matrices to help me summarize, analyze, and draw conclusions. For example, I developed a matrix to help me consider the kinds of printed materials available in the children’s homes and understand how the children used them. My table included information, such as “print material at home, language(s) of print, participants involved in print activity” for each of the four focal children. The chart helped me examine what purpose the texts served and allowed me to focus closely on the related literacy activities. For instance, when Arman read the Separah at home, he did so on his own—other family members were not involved in reading it with him and did not assist him with his reading. However, in Safa’s home, there was usually another member she could read to or explain the meanings of printed material. Thus, the chart was useful to me in terms of not only understanding the different printed materials that the focal children used at home, but in understanding the way print materials were used, particularly when it came to who was or was not involved in the literacy events. 97  In addition, I created data collection tables that were particularly useful to me as they helped me gather the main information related to my research questions and allowed me to clarify phrases, comments or something I had gathered from the participants that I was uncertain about. For example, after transcribing an interview, I would add the main details to the tables. If I did not have time to transcribe the interview right away, I listened to the recording of the interview and noted things I found confusing, that stood out to me, or were insightful or surprising. For example, at the beginning of the study I was surprised that parents/guardians and their children spoke only Pashto in the home, despite decades of being away from Afghanistan. Since I noted this surprise, I was able to ask questions about this and the parents/guardians then shared their belief about the importance of maintaining their first language. Similarly, creating the data collection tables and rereading my data helped me interact with my data and also allowed me to look for commonalities and differences across the language and literacy activities that the focal children engaged in. To provide some examples, after entering the information into one of the tables, I was able to see patterns emerging about the parents/guardians’ beliefs about language and literacy. For instance, all parents/guardians  mentioned the importance of having their children read and write in Pashto, that being able to speak Pashto is not enough, and that a Pashto class at school would be important. Similarly, while many of the parents recognized the value of their children learning English, one guardian also had concerns that differed from the other parents (discussed in detail in the male focal children’s finding11 chapter).                                                   11 Findings are separated by gender in order to provide some coherence for the reader, but also because there are differences between the male and female focal children, among them, their achievement in school literacy. The female focal children were, for the most part, successful in school literacy, while both of the male focal children struggled significantly with it.  98  In this regard, the tables helped me analyze and understand my data more thoroughly and highlighted aspects that needed clarification. For example, after reviewing Arian’s (Arman’s father) statement “there is so much beauty in Pashto, but we have no choice” (Interview, April 24, 2018), I realized I did not know what he meant by the phrase “but we have no choice.” This process of tabulating the data provided me the opportunity to ask him for clarification while the study was still underway. I explain what he meant by this phrase in the female focal children’s finding chapter.  Similarly, the format of the data collection tables enabled me to look for apparently contradictory findings (or findings that appeared contradictory to my knowledge). It highlighted, for example, how a comment Habeebullah made about how a mother can teach literacy to her children appeared to contradict a statement he made later in the interview when he told me, “The women in our household are illiterate, they do not know how to read or write, but they are making sure that the children go to school and to madrasa [Quranic class] on time” (Interview, May 13, 2018). Prior to beginning the next interview, I asked him about this statement and learned that he had meant that mothers can teach their children manners—manners being an important component of literacy in Habeebullah’s eyes—even though they might not be able to teach their children how to read and write. This table appears in Appendix C along with these two examples being highlighted. To explore the language and literacy practices of the children and their families through the lenses of sociocultural theory and Bronfenbrenner’s (1979, 2005) bioecological theory, I needed to focus on the micro and macro contexts. For example, Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory enabled me to focus on the micro context, such as family roles, the family’s socioeconomic status, the focal child’s responsibilities, and the resources available in the 99  community along with other important variables, such as being a refugee, that were central to the focal children’s language and literacy practices. On the other hand, sociocultural theory helped me look at the larger, but still important variables that played a role in the language and literacy practices of the focal children and their families. Some of these variables included religion, power, and gender. At the same time, I focused on how lack of power and issues to do with displacement affected the family’s language, literacy, and educational plans. In essence, I strove to gain an understanding of the families’ language and literacy practices within the micro and macro contexts.   Trustworthiness of the Study Lincoln and Guba (1985) developed four criteria for qualitative researchers to use to assess the trustworthiness of their project: (1) credibility, (2) transferability, (3) dependability, and (4) confirmability. Below, I discuss each criterion and how it pertains to the current study. I also discuss the issue of application and focus on ethics, as an independent criterion. Credibility The credibility of study means that the results are believable (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). In other words, the study provides a genuine understanding of what the researcher observed. To establish credibility for this study, I engaged in a process of triangulation. I triangulated my data by taking extensive fieldnotes during my observations; by conducting multiple semi-structured interviews with the focal children, their parents/guardians, and their teachers; and by collecting artefacts (or photos of artefacts) that related to language and literacy. I also engaged in theory triangulation and used Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) bioecological theory and sociocultural theory to interpret and analyze my data. In addition, I used data source triangulation and made an effort to 100  collect data from participants that differed in composition. Furthermore, I undertook consistent and prolonged engagement in my participants’ homes, school, and communities. From January 2018 to May 2018, I observed each child weekly at home, at school, and in their community. I also used member checks as a strategy of checking in with the participants to involve them in interpretations of the data. For example, before conducting a subsequent interview with a participant (e.g., the focal children, the guardians, their teachers), I reviewed the main themes I identified in the previous interview and asked for clarification on aspects that were unclear to me and had the participants confirm or clarify my interpretations. Doing this provided the participants with a chance to provide an explanation or more information about what I had observed, and it helped me to avoid any possible misinterpretations.  At the conclusion of my study, I verbally provided each focal child’s family with a summary of my findings, as well as a short summary of each interview and the main points I had gathered from each interview. I told each family they were allowed to make any changes that they wanted. I also showed the focal children and their guardians’ photos of the artefacts I had gathered as part of the research. I told them that I would delete any photo if they were not comfortable with me having access to it. The parents/guardian all approved the artefacts and the photos served as the basis of a lengthy discussion in some instances.12                                                   12 For example, Arian was quite interested in Arman’s practice of collecting papers with the names of Allah written on them and felt that this was part of the moral behavior he and his wife had instilled in the children.   101  Transferability Transferability, or external validity, refers to using findings from one setting in a study and applying them to another similar setting. According to Lincoln and Guba (1985), it is not a qualitative researcher’s main priority to generalize their finding. Thus, the researcher leaves the matter of transferability to be decided by the reader. In order for the reader to make this decision, the researcher needs to provide detailed descriptions of the data. I accomplished this by providing “thick descriptions” (Miles et al., 2014, p. 314) of the community, the school, the families, the teachers, and the language and literacy activities and events that they engaged in as evidence of my findings. The reader is able to make an informed decision regarding the applicability of the findings to other settings and contexts. I also frequently used direct quotes from participants to support my arguments and analysis. Lastly, I collected data from focal children and families who represented the majority of the Afghan refugee population’s reality in Brishna.  Dependability Dependability relates to “the stability of findings over time” (Bitsch, 2005, p. 86). To help ensure the dependability of this study, I focused on three clear research questions and collected data using ethnographic methods. I also provided a rationale to support my decision to use ethnographic methods. I collected data over a period of five months on different days of the week and at different times of the day in order to increase the dependability of my findings. To confirm that my interpretations were informed by the data and not my biases, I triangulated both my methods and my sources. For example, in order to learn about the language and literacy practices of the focal children at home, I drew from the observations I recorded in my fieldnotes as well as from our semi-structured interviews.  102  As previously outlined, I provided a verbal summary of each interview to each parent and guardian, in Pashto, which they preferred, as they could not read English. Other than adding a few comments to my summaries, they did not request changes. Furthermore, throughout the study, I met with the parents and guardians either at their homes or at school to clarify anything in the data that was unclear to me. I followed the same strategy with the focal children. These opportunities helped keep the parents and guardians and the focal children at the center of my attention. Teachers were given a copy of the interview transcripts, and, as mentioned previously, two teachers gave me permission to change anything that did not make sense, due to their relative unfamiliarity with English. I chose to keep their original words and added clarifying words in parenthesis, in cases where it was necessary.  Confirmability The notion of confirmability in qualitative research is concerned with ensuring that a researcher’s interpretations and findings pertain to the data and that the researcher’s biases are curtailed as much as possible. Guba and Lincoln (1989) believe that confirmability is established once credibility, transferability and dependability have been ascertained. In this study, I provided clear information on the kinds of data and how it was collected and organized. For example, in the data analysis section, I provided a discussion of how I coded the data, providing examples of First Cycle and Second Cycle coding. Similarly, as noted previously, I used the practice of memoing throughout the study to help define and explain some of the codes. In the data analysis section, I also provided a sample from my reflective journal to show how I recorded my own personal reaction and remarks based on my observations. Writing in the reflective journal was important as it provided me an opportunity to think and reflect on what I was observing and it helped me limit any biases that I may have brought into the research. In addition, the findings in 103  the study were supported by multiple sources of data (interview transcripts, observational fieldnotes, and photos of artefacts) to help me draw conclusions by triangulating the data. For example, during the interview Mrs. Aisha mentioned that Arman rarely did his homework and that he was not receiving support at home. When I turned to my interviews with Arman and the observational fieldnotes, I found evidence that similarly showed that most of the time he did not complete his homework. Furthermore, when I analyzed the photos of the artefacts, I found evidence that Arman regularly wrote a reminder about homework in his diary which was assigned most days, despite claiming that he did not have homework when we discussed the matter in his home. Overall, triangulating the data allowed me to use multiple sources of data as evidence. Application Application focuses on what the research does for the participants and the researcher. The participants, particularly the parents, and the teachers appreciated the study. For example, when interviewing parents and guardians, I acknowledged that I was using their time and apologized for it. However, they told me that they felt the study was important as it was the first time someone had taken an interest in their stories, and they thanked me for listening to them. For example, Safa’s father, Sajjad, mentioned that it was important for others, including Pakistanis, to know that Afghans want to be educated and value learning. He believed that this study would help bring some of this awareness. Similarly, the teachers acknowledged that by participating in the study, they gained a better understanding of the children’s language and literacy practices at home and in the community. Several of the teachers in particular were surprised to learn that the parents and guardians were very supportive of their children’s learning and encouraged them to do well in school. Some teachers also acknowledged that the school practice of discouraging use 104  of one’s first language may be putting the students at a disadvantage. They mentioned they would think about ways to possibly provide some opportunities for students to use their home language for classroom activities. Lastly, the school founder mentioned that the study could help the school personnel better understand the Afghan students and their families and therefore serve their needs more effectively.  In terms of the contributions this study makes to knowledge, it is my hope that this study will highlight to other researchers, educators and policy makers the valuable insights to be gained by learning more about the educational and language and literacy practices of Afghan refugees. As mentioned at the outset of this study, for three decades, Afghans were the largest refugee group in the world. They are now the second largest group; however, there is almost no research focusing on them, especially regarding their language, literacy, and educational practices. More importantly, I hope that the study helps educators realize that despite lacking certain literacy skills (such as in reading and writing), and not knowing a particular language (e.g., the language of their first asylum country or one of the dominant languages, such as English or French), refugees still engage in rich language and literacy practices. For example, as will be seen in this study, families and children engaged in storytelling, reading religious texts (Quran, Separah), brokering texts such as invitation cards, the meaning of Duas, and translanguaging between English, Pashto and Urdu. I believe such understanding is essential in order for educators not to see students from a deficit viewpoint. Finally, I hope that the study will contribute to governmental policies that improve the lives of refugee children and families. In particular, I hope that the study helps change some of the policies in first asylum countries regarding the school experiences of refugee children. Such policies would support refugee 105  families and children improve their language and literacy skills, such as learning to read and write in their first language.   Summary In this chapter, I described the methodology for the study. I began with a detailed description of my research design and explained my rationale for the design. I also described how I selected the research context, the school, and the participants. Furthermore, I explained the data collection process, the data sources, and how I conducted the data analysis. Finally, I concluded this chapter with a discussion about the trustworthiness of the research using Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) criteria. I described each criterion and explained in detail how it pertained to my study. In the next two chapters, I present the findings. The findings are organized according to gender, beginning with the female focal children followed by a chapter that focuses on the male focal children. Each chapter begins with the research questions that it addressed.  106  Chapter 4: Language and Literacy in the Female Focal Children’s Lives In this chapter, I answer the following research questions: 1a) What language(s) do adults and children in low-income Afghan refugee families in Pakistan use at home, at school, and in their communities? 1b) What literacy activities and events do adults and children in low-income Afghan refugee families in Pakistan engage in at home, at school, and in their communities? 2a) What are parents’/guardians’ beliefs about literacy and language? This chapter describes the language and literacy practices of two young females, Safa Noor, a third grader, and Seemena Angar, a second grader, at home, at school, and in the community. The chapter also explores Safa’s and Seemena’s parents’ beliefs regarding language and literacy. As indicated  previously, due to cultural protocols of the participants, I did not interview the mothers of the focal children, rather I interviewed the male parents/guardians and the children themselves.13 Similarly, I did not interview the female Quranic teachers or observe the focal children who had female Quranic teachers. Since the Quranic classes were held in the teachers’ homes, Mr. Dost asked that I not interview the female Quranic teachers due to cultural and privacy reasons. However, I was able to observe instances of the focal children at home as they practiced and prepared for their Quranic classes. I was also able to interview Harun’s male Quranic teacher at the mosque and observed him there. Furthermore, I was able to interview female teachers at the Afghan School. These teachers were not Afghans or Pashtuns except for Mrs. Hajar. They were willing and happy to be interviewed, including Mrs. Hajar. At the same time, it is important to note that my                                                  13 I was able to obtain some information pertinent to the mothers’ roles based on comments shared by the male guardians and focal children. 107  focus in the results chapters are on the four focal children, whom I followed, observed, interviewed and engaged with in their homes, school, and community. I begin the discussion by explicating Safa’s language practices at home, in school, and in the community and then describe her literacy practices in these same contexts. I follow this with a discussion of her father’s beliefs about language learning and literacy. I use a similar format to report on Seemena’s language and literacy practices, and her father’s beliefs about language learning and literacy.  Focal Child: Safa Noor When I met her, Safa was a confident 11-year-old in the third grade at the Afghan School. She lived with her parents and five siblings. Safa enjoyed school and spoke Pashto and Urdu fluently. She was at the novice level in speaking English. Safa could read and write fluently in Urdu and was able to read and write in English, as it related to her school assignments. A typical day during the school week began early with Safa rising at 7:00 a.m. At 7:40 a.m., like her brothers, she left home in order to be on time for the daily morning assembly, which started promptly at 8:00 a.m. At school, she attended eight, 45-minute-long periods every day except Friday when school ended at 12:45 p.m. Safa’s classes included math, science, social studies, Islam/Question and answer, English, computer applications, and Urdu. After coming home from school at 3:00 p.m., Safa had lunch with her family and played for about an hour. Then she attended Quranic lessons at a female teacher’s home in the community. When she returned from the Quranic class, Safa played with and took care of, her siblings until the evening, when she worked on her homework, which usually entailed creating sentences with vocabulary words in 108  Urdu and English, rewriting the multiplication tables multiple times, or memorizing an Urdu poem. Then she had dinner, and went to bed around 8:30 p.m.  Safa’s Language Practices at Home Pashto was the language of communication in Safa’s home. For example, I observed Safa playing with Abbas. She told him to pretend that her doll had a headache and to take it to the doctor (who was Safa). I noted,       Then, she sits on the ground crossed legged. Abbas comes and says, “My daughter’s head hurts,” and she tells him to greet her first. Then he says, “Salamu Alaikyum” and she replies, “Walikum salam, did you say your daughter’s head was hurting?” and he says, “yes”. Safa placed the doll on the ground and after checking the heart rate, Safa turned to Abbas and informed him, “her heart is very good” and then placed her hand on the doll’s head and said, “Ah, your daughter’s head is very warm, she has a fever.” Then she continued, “I will give her [liquid] medication now” and placed the doll on her lap and pretended to give it medication while still talking to Abbas. (Fieldnotes, April 24, 2018)  Safa spoke Pashto to all her siblings, including Abdulhamid and Abbas. Even though Abbas and Safa were fluent in Urdu, they never spoke Urdu at home when addressing one another. Safa also spoke Pashto to her parents. Safa’s mother, Zargoona, only spoke in Pashto. Sajjad, her father, could speak Urdu and Pashto, but neither he nor Zargoona could read or write in any language. During my time in their home, not once did I hear a family member speak any language other than Pashto (similar to other focal children’s homes).  Sajjad believed that the Pashto language was an important aspect of identity. During our interview, he mentioned to me “Pashto is important because it is our mark” (Interview, May 13, 109  2018, translated from Pashto). He explained that this mark goes back to Khalid Bin Walid, a companion of the prophet, Muhammad, who was a Pashtun. By “mark,” Sajjad meant that Pashtun is a distinctive cultural identity and is a crucial part of who he is. He further stressed the importance of speaking Pashto, explaining that “for as long as we are alive and our children are alive, god willing, Pashto cannot be forgotten, nor will Allah forget it.” Sajjad also declared that Pashto would not be forgotten, meaning that it would always be spoken in their home. Furthermore, he stated that because God would never forget Pashto, it would never become a forgotten language.   Safa’s Language Practices at School Before focusing on Safa’s language practices at school, I will briefly introduce the activities Safa engaged in while at school. At the Afghan School, teachers, rather than the students, rotated to their classes each period, for each subject, beginning in first grade. The school’s languages of instruction were Urdu and English, and students were required to speak both during school. For example, Safa was required to speak and answer a question in English in her English class. For instance, on one occasion in the English class, the teacher asked the students, “Where we go to sit and enjoy nature?” and the students answered “Park.” Then she asked, “Where we see different animals?” and the students answered “Zoo”  (Fieldnotes, January 29, 2018). In the math class, the teacher explained how to solve division problems using Urdu and English. When she wrote several problems and asked for a volunteer, Safa raised her hand and said in English “Mam, can I try?” and the teacher handed her the marker (Fieldnotes, March 13, 2018).  Similarly, in Social Studies class, the teacher asked students for examples of goods and services and students could answer in either language (Fieldnotes, February 22, 2018). Most of the writing that she engaged in, even tests, involved copying down questions from the board 110  and answering them in her notebook. For example, during a social studies class, the teacher wrote the following, in English: “Q1: Describe Pakistan’s flag?” Safa copied the prompt from the board and answered, “Pakistan flag has green and white colour and it has a craseist [sic] [crescent] and a star” (Fieldnotes, February 12, 2018). The teacher marked her page and gave her a score of two out of two.  Safa also engaged in frequent read aloud activities in which the teacher asked individual students to read aloud from the textbook14 while the class listened. For instance, I observed Safa reading aloud from her science textbook (in English) about different types of plants. When she finished reading the passage, the teacher asked the class, in Urdu, what “shrub” meant (Fieldnotes, April 12, 2018). Students also borrowed Urdu or English books from the small classroom library to use during the reading period. Occasionally, there were opportunities for students to write about a topic that the teacher selected, such as describing the province where they were born. In addition, during her classes, Safa memorized (particularly words for dictation tests in Urdu and English) or engaged in the Make Sentences activity, described in the next section15.  As mentioned, the languages of instruction at the Afghan School were Urdu and English. Safa spoke both Pashto and Urdu at school fluently and spoke at a beginner’s level in English. She was required to speak only English in her English class, but she used English and Urdu in                                                  14 Safa read aloud mostly in English, except while in the Urdu class. 15 These activities also were typical activities Seemena and Harun engaged in at school, as they were also in elementary grades and shared some of the same teachers. Therefore, in order to reduce redundancy, a description of these activities will not be included for Seemena and Harun. Arman’s schedule differed a bit, and a section describing his typical activities at school will be introduced when his language and literacy practices are described in Chapter 5. 111  the other classes. She sometimes spoke in Pashto with her Pashto-speaking Afghan friends. For example, during an Urdu literacy class, the teacher wrote a list of vocabulary words on the board and asked students to create oral sentences for each word. I observed, “Another Pashto speaking student speaks to Safa in Pashto regarding what sentence to say for one of the words written on the board.” I noted that Safa began to explain in Pashto, “I think it is muaffi [Urdu word for forgive]” and then switched to speaking in Urdu to explain why she thinks that it is” (Fieldnotes, January 23, 2018). The girl then said to her, in Pashto, “Was it because he gossiped?” and she responded back, in Pashto, “Yes, he said that he is crazy [because he’s] blind.” This practice of codeswitching between Pashto and Urdu was common for Safa when she communicated with her peers at school. However, during recess, Safa spoke in Pashto more frequently than when she was in class. For instance, one day while playing tag with her Pashto and Urdu speaking friends, another Afghan girl tried to tag her. Safa told her, in Pashto, “You cannot catch me when my hand is touching the wall.” While Safa used Pashto in this exchange, I also noted that sometimes she used both languages “to communicate with her friends about the game” (Fieldnotes, February 15, 2018). One day, in her Urdu class, the lesson featured parrots in one of their texts; Mrs. Madinah (her teacher) asked whether any of the students had ever seen a parrot. Safa was one of the few students who shared a story about a parrot. As I observed, I noted that Safa used “her hands to demonstrate part of her story about the parrot. She spoke Urdu throughout and spoke loud enough for everyone to hear, while looking at the teacher and the students” (Fieldnotes, January 29, 2018). On another occasion, I observed Safa drawing a map of the city in an art class. The teacher walked around to check on the students’ maps and I noted, “Mrs. Tuba (Safa’s art teacher) ask Safa about her city map, and she explained in Urdu, while pointing to the school, the 112  stores, and the market [on the map] that is near to her home” (Fieldnotes, February 12, 2018). After the teacher left, I spoke with Safa, and noted, “Safa says that the teacher says her map is good but that she needs to add one of the roads near the school [to the map].” Safa was able to answer the teacher’s question, explain the features of her map, and understand what was missing, all in Urdu.  As mentioned earlier, Safa spoke English at a novice level at school. Safa could answer basic questions and understand some directions given to her in English. For example, Mrs. Fowzia (her English teacher) asked one student to come to the board and write a sentence containing a vocabulary word. The student wrote the word “May” in her sentence, and the teacher said, “Why did you write it with a capital letter?” (Fieldnotes, February 22, 2018). When the student did not answer, the teacher continued, “You don’t know why but you wrote with capital letter.” Safa, along with some other students, raised their hands and volunteered to answer the teacher’s question. The teacher called on Safa and she said, “This month name, it’s proper noun.” Although Safa omitted the verb “is” between the words “this” and “month,” the sentence was correct and understandable. Similarly, Safa also sang and performed Islamic songs in English for important events, such as function day.16 On this day, she practiced a song called “My Mother.” The song featured the following lyrics: Who should I give my love to? My respect and my honor to Who should I pay good mind to?                                                  16 A day celebrating the end of the school year with student performances, speeches, food, etc.  113  After Allah And Rasulullah [the Prophet] Comes your mother Who next? Your mother Who next? Your mother And then your father Cause who used to hold you And clean you and clothe you Who used to feed you? And always be with you When you were sick Stay up all night Holding you tight That's right no other Your mother As I watched them sing and perform, I noted, “Safa and her group are singing the song, and their movements are quite in tune with the song itself. When the lyrics state, ‘Who used to feed you?’ they demonstrate through their hands as if they are feeding someone. They do the same when the lyrics talk about cleaning, holding, and clothing” (Fieldnotes, March 13, 2018). As can be seen, for Safa, English language was an important part of her schooling, especially in terms of reading and writing (as will be seen later in the chapter).  114  Safa’s Teachers’ Views on Learning and Speaking Pashto at School When I interviewed her, Safa stressed that she spoke Urdu mostly at school and wanted the school to require the use of Urdu more broadly. Moreover, she stated, “I speak less Pashto in school. With Pashtuns and Punjabi, I speak one language” (Interview, April 12, 2018, translated from Pashto). By “one language,” Safa meant Urdu. Safa was also opposed to using Pashto at school, even though she spoke it regularly with other Pashtun children. When I asked her what she would change at school, she answered: I say if there was no Pashto in school, Pashto is too much in school so that’s why. If there was more Urdu and English, it would be better. More English, if there was more English. I like English, that’s why I want more of it. (Interview, April 12, 2018, translated from Pashto) At first, her answer confused me, as there was no class in Pashto at school, nor were any subjects taught in Pashto. Safa clarified that she meant the Pashto that students (including herself) spoke to each other during recess and in class, such as when asking another student for an eraser or a pencil. When I questioned her further about what other languages she would like the school to emphasize, she said, “and Urdu” (Interview, April 12, 2018, translated from Pashto). I asked Safa why she did not want Pashto spoken at school and she said, “if there was less Pashto then they would not call to others ‘Pathan, Pathan.’ Students say ‘Pathan, Pathan’ and I don’t like that, so that’s why if Pashto can be less, it would be good,” Pathan is another word for Pashtun—it is not derogatory, but Safa explained that this was the reason she did not want Pashto spoken at school. However, while the word itself does not appear to be disparaging, the co-principals of the school informed me that slurs and offensive words between Pashtuns and Punjabi students (directed at each other’s ethnicities) were common.  115  Safa’s opinion of her first language cannot be examined in isolation as she shared many of her teachers’ views on the topic. The Afghan School strongly discouraged students from speaking their home language at school. As Mrs. Madinah (Safa’s Urdu teacher) stated, “We say them that don’t use your own language in school, because school languages are English and Urdu and you learn these languages at the school” (Interview, January 24, 2018). Like Mrs. Madinah, the other teachers expected students to avoid using their home language while at school. Mrs. Sarah (Safa’s social studies and mathematics teacher) also stated, “most students should not talk in their native language and try to learn Urdu and English” (Interview, February 12, 2018, translated from Urdu).  When I enquired whether the Afghan School should help Afghan students develop their home language, most of Safa’s teachers believed that the home was the optimal place for first language development and maintenance. Mrs. Madinah, for example, answered, “their home is the best place where they learn their mother tongue” (Interview, May 7, 2018). She added, “Otherwise, school English and Urdu is enough,” meaning that English and Urdu are “enough” for students to learn at school. Similarly, Mrs. Sarah expressed the view that supporting the home language at school was “less important” as the families now lived in Pakistan. She regarded home language maintenance as the parents’ duty, stating that, “[the] mother tongue they learn from their parents” (Interview, May 10, 2018, translated from Urdu). Mrs. Sarah not only saw home language development as a parent’s duty; she also showed resistance to supporting the student’s home language in school, adding “in school [they] must [learn] English and Urdu.” Mrs. Fowzia (Safa’s English teacher), also believed that, because the Afghan students already knew Pashto, school support of Pashto would not provide much benefit. She stated with a smile, the students “already know about Pashto. They know very well Pashto” (Interview, January 24, 116  2018). She believed that the school should instead offer a professional development class for teachers to learn basic Pashto as “mostly students…belong to Afghan families, so when they are talking …we can’t understand what they are [saying].” Mrs. Fowzia appeared to be referring to the Afghan students’ oral language skills during recess and the codeswitching they engaged in when they asked each other for something, or when they explained concepts or instructions in class. Her response also indicated that, despite the school’s efforts to discourage codeswitching, students still engaged in it, and Mrs. Fowzia thought that knowing some Pashto would help teachers better understand their students.  Safa’s Language Practices in the Community Safa spoke Pashto and Urdu, but not English,17 in the community. When she was with other Pashto speakers, she used Pashto, but when she communicated with non-Pashto speakers, she used Urdu. For example, one of Safa’s favorite play activities was building little houses using mud and broken chinaware pieces. One day, I noticed Abbas and Safa building houses together and observed: They talk about how many bedrooms their homes are going to have, how big the veranda will be, and the importance of using wires on top of the wall to keep thieves away. Seeing wires on the walls is a common sight in Islamabad. I noticed that all of the conversation took place in Pashto. (Fieldnotes, February 22, 2018) I went on to note that Safa switched to speaking in Urdu when Fereshta, her next-door neighbour, asked whether she could play with them. However, even then, “I noticed that each time Abbas and Safa addressed each other, it was in Pashto, but when either talked to Fereshta,                                                  17 None of the children spoke English in the community as most people spoke either Pashto, Urdu, or Punjabi. 117  they used Urdu.” Fereshta continued to work on the house while Safa and Abbas spoke to each other in Pashto; she did not seem bothered by it, but rather appeared to be used to this kind of exchange. This interaction was similar to the codeswitching Safa engaged in at school. It also illustrated how Safa and Abbas were able to codeswitch between Pashto and Urdu without any difficulty.  On another occasion, I accompanied Safa to deliver cloth to the tailor so he could make clothes for her father in time for the Eid (holiday after the month-long fasting of Ramadan) celebration. Safa spoke with the tailor in Urdu and conveyed that she wanted him to sew a traditional qamees, the garment worn by many Afghan and Pakistani men. She showed the tailor Sajjad’s qamees that she had brought as an example and asked him in Urdu to use the same measurements when making the new one. Afterwards, I asked her what the tailor said, and she explained, “He said he has a lot of clothes to stitch and said why didn’t you bring it earlier. He didn’t know if he can get it in [time for] Eid, but he said he will try to have it before Eid” (Fieldnotes, May 21, 2018). Safa successfully communicated to the tailor what she wanted and when she needed it, and she understood the benefits of having made the order earlier. Because the tailor was Punjabi, she used Urdu exclusively in this conversation. In the next section, I focus on Safa’s literacy practices at home, at school, and in the community. Safa’s Literacy Practices at Home Safa’s literacy practices at home comprised of brokering for and teaching her siblings, her nearby neighbour’s child and her father. For example, Sajjad, her father, spoke specifically about how Safa “helps the younger two brothers a lot. She also teaches nemanz (prayers) and Duas (supplications) to the young one” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). I saw this when I visited Safa on May 9, 2018. She used a Separah (Quran primer) to teach Eissa the 118  Arabic letters. She often used money for motivation when he lost interest. Regarding this, I wrote, “When he becomes less engaged, she tells him, ‘Okay, read this good, then I will give you five rupees.’ Upon hearing this, Eissa regains his attention” (Fieldnotes, May 9, 2018). In addition, Safa used her Duas book to teach her brother and the neighbour’s child the six prayers that a Muslim should know. On this day, she asked the neighbour’s child if he had memorized the first prayer (see Figure 4.1). When he did not answer, she read the beginning to him, and he completed reciting the prayer. She then said, ‘shabas,’ meaning ‘good.’”   Figure 4.1 The First Prayer or Kalima Note. The text states, “There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” Arabic is read from right to left.  Safa also helped Sajjad translate, read, and comprehend print texts, as he was unable to read in any language. For example, using her supplication book, Safa taught Sajjad to read the Duas that she had learned in school. This book included many supplications, such as before going to the bathroom, after leaving the bathroom, before putting on clothing, when waking up in the morning, and so forth. These prayers come from the Sunnah18 the second most sacred text in Islam after the Quran. When Sajjad talked about the benefit of having his children attend school, he stated, “Look at this one, she knows the Dua for going to sleep, the Dua for eating, I promise                                                  18 The Sunnah contains the saying and actions of the prophet that a Muslim strives to follow. The supplications are in Arabic, as is the Quran. 119  you I do not know these Duas, but my children know it” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Sajjad also mentioned, “At night when [I] am going to sleep, I say, Child can you please read me the Dua for sleeping?” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Through these comments, Sajjad made it clear that through Safa, he learned as much as he could about the supplications that one recites prior to sleeping, eating, or leaving home. After the interview, the community leader, Mr. Dost, and I joined Sajjad for dinner. I noted: Before we begin the meal, he [Sajjad] said the Dua for eating aloud, and smiled that he learned this from Safa, who was serving us . . . Sajjad further mentioned that Safa never hesitates to teach him the Duas or new Quranic verses. He mentioned that sometimes, she has to read the Urdu translation more than once before she can translate it into Pashto. (Fieldnotes, May 13, 2019) Safa played a central role in Sajjad’s spiritual journey by guiding his learning of the supplications. Her approach was to read the supplication in Arabic, and then read the translation of the supplication, in Urdu, and finally translate it to Pashto (aloud) for her father. Her Duas book was organized so that the Duas, in Arabic, appeared first, followed by the translation of the Duas in Urdu (see Figure 4.2). Although Safa could read the Dua in Arabic without any difficulty, she could not understand it without reading the Urdu translation. This was primarily because her interaction with the Arabic language consisted of being able to read and recite the Quran and Duas fluently, with the correct pronunciation and elongation.  As Sajjad recalled, Safa sometimes needed to read the Urdu translation several times to provide an accurate translation of the supplication to her father in Pashto. 120   Figure 4.2 A Page of Safa's Dua Book Note. The first line of text is in Urdu and describes when to say the supplication: “Dua before entering [a] bathroom.” The second line (in Arabic) is the Dua, which states, “Oh Allah I seek refuge with you from all evil.” The third line is the meaning of the Dua in Urdu.   Safa also supported Sajjad in everyday activities, such as translating texts from the television screen. Sajjad watched Shamshad, a Pashto TV channel based in Afghanistan, and Pakistani Urdu channels regularly in the evening to stay informed of the news. He remarked that he often called for Safa to translate the text on the television screen, such as headlines of breaking news. When I asked if she could read the text on the television screen, he stated, “Yes, she can. She reads it and tells me, the older one does too, and now the younger brother is getting better too” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). When I asked, “Do they read it to you in Pashto?” He responded that the children “translate it for me into Pashto, but they read it in Urdu.” Through this process, Safa and her siblings acted as literacy brokers for Sajjad. They could read the print in Urdu that Sajjad could not, and then, to help their father understand, they translated the Urdu text into Pashto for him. While Safa was able to speak Pashto, she could not 121  read or write it. As Sajjad explained, “The Pashto writing comes on the screen and I ask Safa or her brother [to] say what did this say and they don’t know it,” whereas, when the television screen texts were in Urdu or English, “they will say it very well” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Throughout the time I spent with Safa, I did not see a single book or other type of print media in her home, school, or in the community that was in Pashto. In fact, the Quran (written in Arabic), and the Duas were the only books in her home. Nor did Safa read for pleasure. Therefore, I was not surprised when Sajjad reported that Safa struggled to read in Pashto, particularly as the language instruction at school focused exclusively on learning and speaking Urdu and English. Safa’s Literacy Practices at School One of the most common instructional activities Safa engaged in at school, especially in her English and Urdu classes was the “Make Sentences” lesson. Figures 4.3 and Figure 4.4, shows the Make Sentence board work from Safa’s Urdu and English literacy classes. This activity occurred three to four times a week wherein the teacher wrote a list of vocabulary words on the board and then asked students to construct sentences that included each word. Safa was an enthusiastic participant in this activity and usually appeared eager to share her sentences. During an English class conducted by the Principal (teacher was absent), I observed one boy write the sentence, “There are many girls,” (using the vocabulary word “girls”) on the board. When the Principal asked the class if the sentences needed any corrections, Safa raised her hand, came to the board, and wrote, “There are many girls in our class.” I also noted, “Another student writes ‘four walls in my class’ and again Safa stood up and said, ‘There are four walls in my class.’ [The] principal says, ‘Good job’ and inserts the words ‘There are’ into the sentence on the board” (Fieldnotes, April 24, 2018).  122   Figure 4.3 Make Sentences Exercises in Urdu Note. Urdu is written from right to left, so the vocabulary words are on the right and the corresponding sentences are on the left.       Figure 4.4 Make Sentences Exercises in English     123  In the Urdu class, the teacher also asked students to create oral sentences, or saying sentences out loud, using the vocabulary words. I did not ask Mrs. Madinah (Safa’s Urdu teacher) why she employed this practice; however, I believe that by asking the students to use the words in a sentence, she ensured that they knew and understood the contextual meaning of the words. The other Urdu teachers also used this method. For example, the teacher asked the students to use the Urdu word “سوسفا [Apsooz]” meaning “pity,” in a sentence. After Safa finished responding, the teacher said, “Saheeh” meaning “correct” (Fieldnotes, January 23, 2018). Similarly, on another day, Safa volunteered to create a sentence for each of the first two vocabulary words. After Safa spoke her two sentences, Mrs. Madinah corrected one word in her sentences. Furthermore, I noted, “The teacher [wrote] Safa’s sentences with the first two words and [waited] for other students to make oral sentences with the other words” (Fieldnotes, May 3, 2018). As visible on the previous page, Figure 4.3, showed Safa’s two sentences. The first vocabulary word is “ناسحا [Ihsan]” meaning goodness, while the second is “یتسب [Bastee]” which means township, or small town. Safa’s sentences were, “I did good with my own friend,” and “Next to my home, there is a small town.”  Safa actively participated regularly in the Urdu class, and her classmates often turned to her for assistance. In one instance, when the students were working on a page from their Urdu workbook, I noted that Safa’s classmate “shows Safa two words written on her hand and asks her which word goes in the sentence and Safa shows it to her” (Fieldnotes, April 12, 2018). Overall, I noticed that Safa frequently provided help and support to her classmates during the Make Sentences activities.   Safa experienced success in both the Urdu and English language and literacy classes. Notably, her teachers often used Safa’s classwork as an exemplar to the other students in the 124  class. For example, Mrs. Fowzia asked students to, “Fill in the blanks with the rhyming words” (Fieldnotes, February 22, 2018). After the students copied down and completed the sentences, she called on Safa to finish the sentences on the board. When Safa finished this task, I noted, the “Teacher asks [the] children to look for any mistakes and then goes over each one and says, ‘good job, Safa.” Furthermore, during an interview, Mrs. Fowzia stated, “And now Allahmdullelah, Safa trying to best her, that she talk Urdu, she talk in English, and she talk to other students, speak in English, they are trying, they learn and they try” (Interview, January 24, 2018). Mrs. Fowzia attempted to convey in the interview that, for Safa, it was easier to transition to speaking English in the English class compared to the other students. Moreover, she meant that while Safa could have resorted to speaking Urdu in the English class, she spoke English as much as she was able to.  Likewise, Safa demonstrated confidence when she engaged in writing in the Urdu class. For example, after the class went to a famous rose garden for a field trip, Mrs. Madinah asked the students to write a few sentences about the trip. Safa volunteered to go first and wrote, “One day we went to the rose garden for an educational trip” (Fieldnotes, May 9, 2018). As seen in Figure 4.5, Safa added marks to the letters in her sentence, similar to those in the Arabic alphabet to ensure accurate pronunciation. Similarly, on another day, after reading a passage in Urdu from the textbook, Mrs. Madinah asked the students to write a sentence or two about the story. Safa wrote, “These children love each other very much. Saleeha also gave her clothes to these children and this is also a good deed” (Fieldnotes, May 17, 2018). Like Mrs. Fowzia, who had commented on Safa’s English speaking ability, Mrs. Sarah (Safa’s social studies and mathematics teacher) also referred to Safa’s literacy abilities in Urdu. She said, “Safa is Mash 125  Allah, Alhamdullelah19 nice” (Interview, February 12, 2018, translated from Urdu) and when I asked whether she meant that Safa was good at reading Urdu, she explained, “With Urdu reading or writing or … she is a position holder20 in our class.”  Figure 4.5 Safa Writing a Sentences about a Class Field Trip  Safa’s Literacy Practices in the Community Safa’s literacy practice in the community revolved around improving her reading and recitation of the Quran. Every day after school, Safa attended a Quranic class at a female teacher’s home in the community, along with other female students. The teacher taught (e.g., explaining, giving instructions, guiding students’ pronunciation) in Urdu, but read the Quran in Arabic (as the Quran is in Arabic). On one occasion, I observed Safa preparing for her lesson by                                                  19 Phrases commonly used to praise or appreciate one.  20 A student becomes a position holder if they achieve high marks on the end-of-year summative exams. 126  reading and reciting a chapter titled “Al-Fajr” meaning “The Dawn.” The teacher had told her to read the passages at least three times and focus on how she pronounced the letters “ق [Qaf]” and “ك [Kaf].” I noted, “She reads it in a careful rhythmic manner, while pointing her finger to each word on the page” (Fieldnotes, January 23, 2018). It is quite common for learners of Arabic to experience confusion between alphabet letters that sound similar. In this case, although they both sound the same, “ق” is pronounced with more emphasis while the letter “ك” is pronounced with less emphasis. Thus, to become proficient, one must work harder through continuous practice to learn the proper pronunciation of the letters with respect to elongation and rhythm. Because Safa’s Quranic class stressed the proper reading of the Quran, she was compelled to read and reread the chapters to develop her competence in this regard. Her Quranic reading centered on the performative aspect (pronouncing and reciting correctly) and not on comprehension which is why Safa could “read” the Quran fluently, but did not understand what she read. According to Safa, “we all practice our own lesson, then we read it to the teacher” (Fieldnotes, January 31, 2018). In other words, the students in her Quranic class progressed at an individual pace. Students who did well in a lesson moved on to the next lesson, while students needing more practice stayed behind until they mastered it. Despite this, Quran reading included a communal element. For example, on the day she finished reading the Quran, Safa had to recite certain chapters to the teacher and her classmates as part of the completion ceremony (Khatim) after which the teacher would pass sweets to celebrate (Fieldnotes, February 2, 2018). Furthermore, Safa mentioned that after reading it, the teacher would say, “Takbir” and the class would respond by saying, “Allahu Akbar” meaning “God is great.” Other than practicing her Quran’s reading and recitation, I did not observe other literacy activities or events in the community. Next, I turn to Sajjad’s beliefs about language and literacy. 127  Safa’s Father’s Beliefs about Language and Literacy Sajjad’s Beliefs about Language  Safa’s father, Sajjad, was passionate about language and literacy, especially for his children. However, he felt that while Pashtuns served in every industry and worked hard, “in education, we are behind” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Sajjad also strongly believed that Pashtuns needed to increase their access to a quality education, and that fluency in Pashto (speaking, reading, and writing) was congruent with that growth. When I asked which languages he felt his children should be proficient in, he mentioned that he would like his children to know Pashto as their first language and this included being able to read and write in it. He wished that the Afghan School offered Pashto class and asked me to inquire at the school if they could do this, claiming that because the family spoke Pashto at home, his children would “progress further than they are in [their] Urdu or English” classes (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Sajjad also encouraged his children to learn English as the opportunities for them to learn to read and write in Pashto were limited in Islamabad. In other words, he wanted his children to learn to read and write in Pashto first, but because there was no opportunity for this, he encouraged them to learn English. He believed that having English as a second language would be advantageous, particularly if he was forced to return to Afghanistan as English is an important language in the educational system there. He stated, “If I go to Afghanistan... and my children do not know Pashto, reading and writing they don’t know in Pashto, so it will be a must that they know how to write in English and know how to ask and answer a question in English” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Indeed, since 2001 English has been “the most dominant foreign language in the country” (Alamyar, 2010, p. 4) and students learn it 128  starting in the fourth grade. Even though they were lacking literacy in their first language, they would still have an advantage because of their proficiency in English. Sajjad also seemed to recognize that the English language was a common language in the world that one needed to know. For example, he stated, English “has become a language for all countries, it is used everywhere” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto) and so, he encouraged his children to become proficient in it.   Although he knew Urdu would be of little use in Afghanistan, Sajjad also encouraged his children to learn it so they could engage with the Punjabi people in Pakistan. In Sajjad’s words:  Let’s say I am Punjabi, and you are Pashtun. If we come together, you are also a brother of the Kalima21and I am also a brother of the Kalima. We do not harbor hate for each other, and we are passing our lives as Muslims, so I must know your language and you must know my language. (Interview, January 26, 2018, translated from Pashto) In other words, Sajjad believed that being able to speak a common language (Urdu) would help the different ethnicities unite and live together in harmony. This was the only thing he mentioned when talking about the benefits of having his children learn Urdu. Furthermore, Sajjad did not identify more instrumental or utilitarian functions and purposes of learning Urdu. Indeed, he viewed Urdu as a temporary language that he and his children needed while living in Pakistan and mentioned, “Urdu will be left from us, in Pakistan we are guests for five days” (May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). He mentioned “five days” as a metaphor to describe that he is considered a refugee in Pakistan and can be forced to leave anytime, despite living there for decades.                                                  21 Kalima translates as a “declaration of faith;” in other words, Sajjad is saying that he is a Muslim.  129  Sajjad’s Beliefs about Literacy Sajjad used the idea of vision as a metaphor when he talked about literacy. In Saijad’s mind, literacy was equated literally and figuratively with vision; for example, he stated that it would be beneficial if his children were literate in Pashto, “so our eyes will not be closed when we go back to Afghanistan” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Sajjad furthered the analogy of sight in suggesting that those who did not have literacy skills, specifically the ability to read and write, were blind. He said, “School is a light, and we are blind, we who are uneducated, and who are illiterate, we are an example of being blind” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Because he could not read or write, Sajjad included himself among the blind in this statement. When I asked why he thought of himself as being blind, he answered: We do not know anything. We can barely write our names, I cannot read a letter. A literate is a person who can read, who can write. These [skills], I call light, they are able to see with their eyes. I am blind, I can see things, I can see that you have the book in your hand, but I am blind because I do not know what you wrote. . . . The pressure that I am placing on my children is so that they can have this light.  I want my children’s eyes to be open, we are left blinded. (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto) By “pressure,” Sajjad referred to his expectation that his children did well in school, so that, unlike himself, they would be able to “see,” or to read and write. At one point during our interview, I asked Sajjad if he had gone to school when he was a child. He answered:  There was school in our time, but we did not have the kind of attitude to it the way it is today. For example, when Safa comes, or her brother, at night I ask them what homework 130  did they give you? What did you learn? These were the types of things that were not asked of us by my parents. (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto) Certainly, Sajjad believed that a parent’s attitude toward their children’s schooling played an important role in their learning success. Furthermore, as he mentioned, he asked his children about their homework and what they were learning in order to keep himself informed of what they were learning and stated that such questions were not asked of him by his parents. Despite his interest, however, Sajjad could not help his children with their homework, stating, “I cannot, because I do not know myself” (Interview, May 13, 2018, translated from Pashto). Nevertheless, the younger children had an older sister, Shereena, who helped them. Sajjad recounted, “At night, the older sister tells them to get their backpacks and they work on their homework. If they are stuck, the older sister helps them, and explains it to them.”  As seen in this section, Safa spoke Pashto and Urdu fluently and at home, engaged in various literacy activities such as brokering, teaching others, and reading the Quran. Sajjad was also passionate about languages and literacy. In addition, he viewed literacy as an essential life skill and wanted his children to be successful in attaining it. In the next section, I introduce Seemena Angar and describe her language and literacy practices at home, at school, and in the community. I also report on her father’s beliefs about language and literacy, before concluding with a summary of the chapter.  Focal Child: Seemena Angar I met Seemena when she was ten years old and in the second grade at the Afghan School. She lived with her parents and six brothers, two of whom were married and had children of their own. Thus, Seemena was surrounded by parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. A studious 131  individual, Seemena was passionate about being able to attend school. She spoke Pashto and could speak, read, and write Urdu fluently. Although she could read (with the support of her teacher) and write in English, she spoke it at a beginner’s level. For example, if a text contained new vocabulary words, she needed the teacher’s help to pronounce them.  Seemena made sure she was present and on time for school each day. During the week, a typical day would begin with Seemena getting up around 6:45 a.m. and performing the ablution before the morning prayer. After that, she had breakfast with her nieces before walking to school with them. Because their home was quite far from school, they had to leave very early to be there when classes started at 8:00 a.m. Seemena’s school schedule was the same as Safa’s with forty-five minutes for each subject. After school, Seemena ate lunch and played with her nieces for about an hour. She would then help children from her community (including her nieces) with their homework and Quranic reading for 60 to 90 minutes. Afterward, Seemena would play with her nieces at home until it was time to do her own homework. She had dinner with her family at about 8:30 p.m. and then performed the last prayer of the day at around 9:00 p.m. before going to bed.   Seemena’s Language Practices at Home Seemena spoke only Pashto at home. Her parents, Dawud and Kinza, did not speak any other language. One day, Dawud was getting ready to go to the hospital with his eldest son, Yunus. As he was getting ready, he told Seemena to bring him his medication from his room. Before going to get it, Seemena asked him, “Baba, should I put all of the medication in, or just the ones for your legs?” (Fieldnotes, April 25, 2018). Dawud asked her to pack all the medications as a precaution. When she came back, he further instructed her to put his medical report and some money in the bag. Throughout this instance, they spoke in Pashto. On another 132  occasion, I observed Seemena conversing with her niece, Jannath (9), as they washed laundry in a basin (Fieldnotes, February 21, 2018). As they washed, Seemena stated, “It is very strong [detergent], don’t use too much.” As with the earlier conversation, this one followed a similar pattern in that throughout their conversation, Seemena and Jannath spoke only in Pashto. When I asked if only Pashto was spoken at home, Dawud answered, “Of course, yes, that is what we speak. This is the language. We do not speak Hindko or Urdu” (Interview, April 17, 2018, translated from Pashto). Despite living for decades in Pakistan, Dawud acknowledged that he did not speak Urdu. He told me, “I have spent so much time with them [Punjabi people], and I do not understand them, and when we speak Pashto, they do not understand” (Interview, April 17, 2018, translated from Pashto). Additionally, speaking in Pashto was important to Dawud as it connected him to Afghanistan. For example, he stated, “Afghanistan is all Pashto speakers. If you go to Kabul, it will be Farsi, in another province it maybe Farsi, but other than that it is all Pashto” (Interview, April 17, 2018, translated from Pashto). Seemena’s Language Practices at School As mentioned previously, Urdu and English were the languages of instruction at the Afghan School. Seemena regularly spoke Urdu and Pashto at school. She was also beginning to learn basic English. Her English teacher, Mrs. Hajar, required that if a student answered a question in Urdu, they had to translate the answer into English. If the student could not translate their answer into English, she would not accept it. Seemena commonly spoke in Pashto with her Pashto-speaking classmates, especially when the teacher was not present. For example, during one of Seemena’s science classes, the lesson focused on identifying the physical features of the earth. As part of the lesson, students were required to draw the features on a sheet of paper and write their names in English. After Seemena completed her drawing, she turned to her classmate, 133  Toora, and began helping her, even though Toora did not ask for her help. I observed, “She tells her ‘Draw a mountain here and underneath draw a river.’ Toora tells her, ‘I have drawn a mountain [already].’ Seemena then replied, ‘Ok then, draw a river,’ and after she drew it, Seemena helped her color it” (Fieldnotes, January 19, 2018). The conversation continued in Pashto, and I wrote, “Afterwards she says, ‘You need an island too.’ Toora then tells her, ‘Island means like small mountain, there’s water with it.’ Seemena nods.” As Seemena helped her classmate to finish the drawing, the two continued to converse in Pashto. When Seemena informed Toora that she needed an island, too, Toora confirmed her definition of an island and described it in Pashto to which Seemena nodded in confirmation.  While Seemena helped her classmates, she also occasionally asked them for help. For instance, during a lesson on reading time, Mrs. Sarah spoke in Urdu about the importance of the small and big hands of the clock and provided a few examples. After the instruction, she used a model clock and asked the students to identify the time displayed on the clock. While Seemena tried to figure out the time, I noted, “Seemena turns to Belqis and says, ‘The teacher said that to look at which [hand] first?’ Belqis said, ‘The small one, then the big’” (Fieldnotes, January 19, 2018). Because Belqis was an Afghan and a Pashto speaker, Seemena posed the question to her in Pashto and, similarly, received the response in Pashto. However, when the student nearby was not a Pashto speaker, Seemena exclusively used Urdu, not English, when codeswitching. For example, in the English class, students were learning about common and proper nouns and I noted, “Zaynab asks Seemena if she has written ‘Karachi’ in the correct category of a proper noun. Seemena tells her in Urdu that she has. When Zaynab asks about the word ‘hospital,’ Seemena points to the common noun category and in her explanation stated, in Urdu, ‘It’s not Islamabad Hospital, it’s not name’” (Fieldnotes, April 17, 2018). She meant that the word 134  hospital is a common word, not a proper noun like Islamabad Hospital, and therefore is not capitalized.  Seemena spoke English at a beginner’s level in her English class, as well as during other classes, such as science, or social studies. For example, when Seemena stood to identify a characteristic of a good citizen, she answered in English, “Be honest” (Fieldnotes, May 10, 2018). In another instance, Mrs. Hajar asked Seemena, “What does singular mean?” (Fieldnotes, January 25, 2018). When Seemena answered in Urdu, the teacher said, “This is your English period, speak in English,” to which Seemena responded “one.” However, Seemena was not always able to translate her answer to English, as Mrs. Hajar required. For example, on one occasion, the students read a story from their English textbook. When the story was completed, Mrs. Hajar posed the question, “Should we help our mother in the kitchen?” (Fieldnotes, February 1, 2018). When the whole class answered, “Yes,” she asked, “How?” When students attempted to answer, she insisted, “In English, in English!” I then observed, the “teacher comes to Seemena and asks her the same question, she replies in Urdu, but the teacher says, ‘in English, in English’ and she is unable to answer.” As Seemena was still at a beginner’s level, she sometimes struggled to answer a question in English; even though most of her reading and writing was done in English.  Seemena’s and Her Teachers’ Views on Learning and Speaking Pashto at School Even though Seemena spoke regularly in Pashto at school, when asked what she thought about the possibility of having a Pashto class at school, she was not in favor of it. She looked surprised at the question and responded by saying, “I don’t like it” (Interview, April 24, 2018, translated from Pashto). When I asked why, she answered, “My friends, our friends do not speak Pashto. They speak Urdu” in reference to the non-Pashtun students (e.g., Punjabi, Kashmiri, 135  Balochi) at the Afghan School. I then asked if she would be in favor of a Pashto class for the Pashto speaking students only, and she asked, “to be separated from Punjabis?” to clarify my question. And I said, “Yes, for the Pashto class,” and Seemena answered, “No, no.” She disliked the idea of being separated from the other students and among only Pashtuns. When I followed up with Seemena regarding the Pashto class, she also mentioned that there was no time for a Pashto class as there were already too many classes. In her words, “Pashto class will make [school] day very long” (Fieldnotes, May 4, 2018). I noted, “Seemena also seems to be worried about Pashto class adding to an already packed schedule of classes, if it was to be included in the school’s schedule.” Furthermore, she reasoned with me stating, “Pashto, I know” indicating that because she spoke Pashto, it was not necessary to learn it in school.  Like Safa’s teachers, Seemena’s English and Urdu teachers held very similar ideas about the students’ home language. For example, Mrs. Tuba stated, “They cannot say it in their own language . . . if it is English [class], they have to speak English most of the time, if it is Urdu [class], they should speak in Urdu” (Interview, February 21, 2018, translated from Urdu). Moreover, she believed that home languages should be used only within the home. She used an example from her own life to illustrate for me what she meant, stating, “Basically, I belong to Punjabi, I know to speak Punjabi, but I never use Punjabi outside of my house. Because I am living in this society.” Although Mrs. Tuba acknowledged the importance of her first language for her family and the Punjabi people, she felt that in the community and outside her home, she needed to use Urdu because it was the common language.  She elaborated and extended this example to Afghans, stating, “Same is for Afghans, [the] Pashto that they are speaking is important at their house. But outside of the home, they must have to speak Urdu.”   136  Similarly, when I asked Mrs. Hajar (the school’s only Pashto-speaking teacher) whether the school had a Pashto class for students, she answered, “No, no such things are here” (Interview, January 26, 2018), and went on to say, “Most of the students are already Pathan and they know their Pashto very well.” Like Mrs. Fowzia, Mrs. Hajar, noted that most students at the Afghan School were Pashtuns and therefore knew their language. Mrs. Hajar also explained why a Pashto class would not be welcome in school, stating, “And Punjabis or the others, they never, like they don’t like Pathans, they don’t like Pashto, why would they like want to learn [Pashto]?” This response could explain, in part, why Seemena was surprised at my question regarding a Pashto class in school, and her concerns about being separated from the non-Pashto-speaking students. Furthermore, Mrs. Hajar believed English was a language all Afghan students should master and when asked why, she answered, “Because English is the language of science and technology.” She concluded that around the world, English was a language that was valued by people.  At the same time, Mrs. Hajar recognized that if the school offered a Pashto class, it would be beneficial to the Afghan students. When asked if the school should help the Afghan students develop their first language through a Pashto class, for example, Mrs. Hajar answered, “Actually, if one has resources, it is good because learning more language is an extra qualification” (Interview, May 25, 2018). Mrs. Hajar initially referred to the Pashto class as an “extra qualification” and thus as an additional benefit, rather than a necessity. However, as the interview progressed, her opinion seemed to change a bit. For example, she recalled her own schooling in Peshawar (a province in Pakistan) where Pashto was a compulsory subject. She compared her experiences as a student learning to read and write in Pashto with those of her nieces and nephews who were going to school in Islamabad. She pointed out, they “can’t read 137  Pashto, they can’t write Pashto,” but they can speak it. When Mrs. Hajar talked about taking Pashto as a subject in school, I asked, “Do you think similarly, that would be good for these students?” and she answered, “Of course, they should, they should.” Moreover, she mentioned that, “If I see a book of Rahman Baba or Khushal Khan Khattak, I feel very easy; I can read it…like I feel happy when I read in my own language.” Here, Mrs. Hajar referred to the two prominent Pashto poets whose poetry she could read and it made her “feel happy” to be able to read in Pashto. While in the beginning of the interview, Mrs. Hajar spoke of the Pashto class as an extra benefit to the Afghan students, by reflecting on her own experience of learning Pashto in school, she began to see it as more than that.  Seemena’s Language Practices in the Community Seemena spoke Pashto and Urdu in the community but did not use English. When she conversed with a non-Pashto speaker, she used Urdu. However, when she communicated with a Pashto speaker, she spoke only in Pashto. On one occasion, I observed Seemena interacting with an Afghan seller who sold fabrics and fashion jewelry on his cart. In Pashto, Seemena asked to see a red necklace and then tried to bargain for it. The seller told her “For 400, we didn’t buy it, give me 500.” (Fieldnotes, February 7, 2018). Seemena continued to bargain with the seller in Pashto and was able to get it for 500 rupees.   On another occasion, after Seemena and I arrived at her home, Dawud informed Seemena that the landlord had stopped by and although he knew it was about the rent, he could not communicate with the landlord. Dawud, Seemena, and I walked to the landlord’s home and when a girl opened the door, Seemena informed her in Urdu that we were there to see her father. After we all greeted the landlord, I observed: 138  Dawud tells Seemena, “Tell him that when [my] sons come today, I will give you complete rent, but for now take the four thousand.” Seemena translates it to the landlord and then he talks to her in Urdu. Then she informs Dawud that the landlord says it is not a problem but that he owes money to another person and he wants to repay him very soon. Dawud tells Seemena to let the landlord know that as soon as her brothers come today, he would get the rest of the money. Seemena again translates this to the landlord and he smiles and shakes our hands, and we leave. (Fieldnotes, May 4, 2018) In this exchange, Seemena effectively communicated in Urdu what her father wanted to convey to the landlord. Moreover, she was able to tell her father the reason the landlord needed the money urgently. As a result, Seemena played an important role in bridging the language gap between Dawud and the landlord. In the next section, I describe Seemena’s literacy practices at home, at school, and in the community. Seemena’s Literacy Practices at Home Seemena’s literacy practices at home consisted of practicing and performing prayers in Arabic, translating print materials for her parents from English or Urdu into oral Pashto, and participating in Naseehath (moral) storytelling with her parents.  Praying five times a day is a religious requirement in Islam. In the prayers, one recites the memorized passages or small chapters from the Quran in Arabic. In addition, the prayers include movements, such as prostrating, bowing, and kneeling. Although she was not yet required to perform the five daily prayers, Seemena had been diligently practicing them. During each prayer, she recited from memory the Quranic verses in the required order. For example, one day, as I was about to leave Seemena’s home, I saw her holding the prayer mat and I asked if she was preparing for prayer. When Seemena answered that she was, I asked if she knew how to pray, 139  and she stated that she had been learning at school and from her mother (Fieldnotes, February 01, 2018).  Seemena had a Salah book written in Urdu that depicted and explained how to perform the Wudu (ablution) and the prayer. The Salah book was in Urdu but included passages from the Quran, in Arabic. I asked to see the book, and as I was looking through it, she stated that she sometimes forgot the steps of the ablution. She said, “I turn [to] that page, and I do my ablution” (Fieldnotes, February 1, 2018). I then asked, “So, do you look at the pictures or the notes under each when doing ablution?” and noted, “Seemena says she uses the pictures as she forgets the order of the ablution and said ‘otherwise, I know that when washing any part, right is first.’” Thus, the pictures played an important role in helping Seemena perform her ablution in the proper order. As Seemena explained, she knew that when washing her hands or arms she had to wash the right side first; similarly, when washing her feet, she had to wash her right foot first and wash each foot three times. Although she knew the procedures of the ablution, the pictures helped her perform the required steps in the correct order. However, through time and continuous practice, Seemena likely will have no need for the Salah book, as the steps of both the ablution and the prayer will become a routine.  Seemena could read and understand the instructions for each step in Urdu. For example, when I asked her if she could read the instructions, Seemena read it fluently and then told me in Pashto while pointing to her elbow, “It says wash your arms up to here three times. Right then left” (Fieldnotes, February 1, 2018). Figure 4.6 shows the page in the prayer book from which Seemena read. While she performed the prayer, Seemena needed her mother or another adult to listen (and remind her of the words) as she prayed and she referred to her Salah book as she assumed the positions to make sure that she performed them properly. As a result, Seemena 140  referenced the Salah book often to improve her ablution and prayer practice to align with the requirements of her faith.    Figure 4.6 A Picture from Seemena's Salah (Prayer) Book Note. The page states in Urdu “Wash your arms up to elbow, three times. Right arm first then left arm.”  Seemena was also the main person in the family to read and interpret any printed texts that arrived. For example, Seemena saw all of the wedding invitations, cards, and bills. Dawud mentioned, “She is Mash Allah very good, for example, we get a wedding or some letter, we say, ‘Seemena come here, we do not know this,’ and she tells us everything on it, that ‘this is what this says, and this is what is written.’ She tells us and our eyes open up” (Interview, April 17, 2018, translated from Pashto). Dawud did not know exactly the language used on the invitations, although he believed they were in either Urdu or English. Dawud continued, “She tells us this 141  person sent this to us and they have written this, and this is where they have invited you.” He gave an example, mentioning, “A few days ago, a card came . . . she read it to us, and then we went to Akore, there was the wedding.” Because Seemena was able to relay important information, such as who sent the card or invitation, what the message said, the location of the event, and so on, Dawud and his family were able to attend the wedding. Thus, an important part of Seemena’s literacy practices at home included translating the printed content on invitations, bills, and school correspondence (e.g., permission slips, school letters) into Pashto for her family. Dawud highlighted her role further and stated that Seemena demonstrated leadership skills through her skills in reading and writing. For example, on May 10, 2018, I noted, “Dawud tells me that the person who ‘lead us’ is Seemena. He says that she sees all the letters and cards that the family receives” (Fieldnotes, May 10, 2018).   Seemena also engaged in the practice of Naseehath (moral) storytelling. Naseehath consists of telling a story, a saying, or giving advice about something with the intention of teaching a lesson, while incorporating and building on Islamic values. This practice of storytelling can also be about other topics, such as sharing events from one’s life (e.g., hardships, overcoming obstacles, successes). At the same time, the practice of Naseehath is unique to each family, and the practice may differ from home to home. When I asked Dawud about the Naseehath practice in his home and what it entailed, he said, “The Naseehath is that she is now in this school, we don’t want absolutely nothing from you in terms of chores or other type of work from you at home” (Interview, April 17, 2018, translated from Pashto). Dawud emphasized right in the beginning that the main Naseehath theme in his home was to inform Seemena that they did not want her to do any chores or housework. He continued, “What you need to do, is straighten your back for this school and learn it with ‘nar twoob’ and we will be very happy.” With this 142  statement, Dawud explained why he did not want Seemena to do any housework and that she needed to “straighten” her back for school, which meant that all of her focus should be on her schoolwork. He also used the phrase “nar twoob,” which translates as “male confidence.”22 By using this phrase, he told his daughter to be confident and strong like a man in the pursuit of her studies.  Comparably, when visiting Seemena at her home, I noticed that the conversation regularly centered on Seemena’s performance at school. For example, after observing Seemena’s brother, Yunus, ask about her social studies test, I wrote, “She says it was easy and ‘one question was hard.’ He then asks what it was about, and she says she doesn’t remember but it was about Jinnah’s [Pakistan’s founder] life” (Fieldnotes, March 16, 2018). Yunus continued and asked Seemena if she would show him the test when she got it back. Another time, I asked Seemena why she held her notebook while walking from school. She told me “that she doesn’t want to forget to show the vocabulary quiz to Yunus and Dawud” (Fieldnotes, February 28, 2018). Even though Yunus could not read or write himself, he often asked Seemena about school and inquired about her performance in tests. Dawud also checked on Seemena and asked about her homework. On another occasion, while Seemena was playing outside her home, Dawud asked her, “Daughter did you do writing?” (Fieldnotes, May 22, 2018) and when she informed him that she did not have a lot of homework, Dawud replied, “Ok, then it is good.” Thus, as Dawud concluded, “These are the Naseehath (moral stories) that we tell, what else can we tell? We tell this often, and make sure it reaches her ears. We do no