“We have stories to share!”: Narratives of Identity and Perspectives of Japanese Descent Teachers in the USA

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Gumiko Monobe
Barbara L. Seidl


As the number of immigrant children entering school systems increases across the globe, preparing teachers to support these children and their families is of critical importance. How to support and bring strength to English language learners (ELLs) and immigrant children is a new subject among the scholarship of teacher education, due to the increasing numbers of immigrant children. There are unique complexities that educators need to consider, including: (a) their own cross/bicultural, bilingual identity development, (b) their interpersonal relationship building, and (c) their hybrid experiences in a culturally and linguistically unfamiliar environment with other children and teachers in a new country.

In this study, we focus mainly on three teachers who are Japanese descent and their support of Japanese immigrant students. Findings from this study suggest that the three teachers used their funds of knowledge (González, Moll, & Amanti, 2005) as immigrants and immigrant teachers to support their Japanese immigrant students in the following three categories: building interpersonal connections, cross-cultural mediation, and nurturing identity development in the context of hybridity and wholeness.

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