Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Jenifer Jasinski Schneider, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Kiefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Janet Richards, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brenda Walker, Ph.D.


acculturation, photography, tableaux, writing, youth


As the geographic landscape of our world increasingly changes, a constant migration is occurring, with people seeking refuge and asylum. Many of those seeking a better way of life are children and adolescents. It is important not only to consider and accommodate how children and adolescents develop and grow, but how they do so in a country that is not their home and with language and literacy practices that are often new to them. Adjusting and acculturating into host countries might compound issues youth experience during child and adolescence development. This study provided a space and a platform for immigrant adolescents to describe and communicate their lived experiences of acculturation. When exposed to literacy events that mirrored their lives and included relatable experiences, the research participants saw themselves as “part of the larger human experience” (Christ & Sharma, 2018, p. 56). Supported by the theory of multimodal literacy practices, in this exploratory-descriptive study I explored how Haitian immigrant adolescent girls living in The Bahamas described their lived experiences of acculturation. In semi-structured interviews and focus groups, study participants examined their experiences, integrating multiple modes of writing, photography, and tableaux. The findings suggest that Haitian immigrant adolescents’ integration of multimodal literacy provided opportunities for them to describe and communicate their lived experiences.

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