Skip to content
Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0034-527X
  • E-ISSN: 1943-2348


Within this ethnographic case study, I examine the ways that a Migrant Head Start program failed to build on the funds of language and literacy knowledge of a group of socioculturally and linguistically marginalized preschool children. Using a literacy-as-social-practice lens, I explore the children’s early literacy knowledge by focusing on the ways that reading and writing mediate the lives of the migrant farmworker community—their parents’ and community members’ lives. Observational and interview data analysis revealed literacy practices in the migrant camps that reflected their lives of bureaucratic regulation, family and community relationships, and spirituality in the migrant camps. Participant observation in the Migrant Head Start program revealed a school-based focus on only surface features of early literacy, delivered in an unfamiliar language and reflecting culturally specific beliefs and values about literacy practice that did not match those of most of the children. Analysis also revealed the ways that literacy practice among the migrant farmworkers moved and changed as the individual life experiences of the families changed, particularly in relation to increased geographic permanence over time.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error