The United States is the biggest resettlement country of refugees referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; however, educational resettlement efforts have been unsuccessful in responding to the needs of refugee students, and educational research has thus far presented a deficit‐oriented narrative that ignores the skills and agency of these students. This study challenges such deficit‐oriented presentations by examining how Zein, an adolescent refugee English learner, uses language to construct his identity and position himself as a digital bricoleur (someone creatively using different materials to produce new artifacts). We learn from Zein that classroom tasks with multimodal dimensions can provide spaces for refugee students to negotiate their engagement with classroom tasks to better align them to their interests and identities, make connections between their school‐based and out‐of‐school literacy practices, and practice their agency to produce counternarratives that challenge deficit perspectives of refugee students.
Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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