Crystal Cook Dissertation Final Defense

The College of Education, Health and

Human Sciences

Announces the Final Examination of

Crystal Dawn Cook

for the degree of

Doctor of Education

April 2, 2015 at 02:30 pm

405 Ball Hall, University of Memphis

Memphis, TN


Biographical Sketch

Bachelor of Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, Texas Woman’s University

Master of Science, Instruction & Curriculum Leadership, University of Memphis

Advisory Committee

Dr. Beverly E. Cross, PhD, Holder of the Chair of Excellence, Education, Health & Human Sciences, Committee chair

Dr. Teresa Dalle, PhD, Associate Professor, English

Dr. Laurie MacGillivray, EdD, Professor, Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Dr. Shelly Counsell, EdD, Assistant Professor, Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Major Field of Study

Instruction & Curriculum Leadership

Period of Preparation: 2010 – 2015

Comprehensive Examination Passed: March 2013




The purpose of this study was to examine the literacy practices of immigrant families and their children and what that support resembles in their homes. In addition, the purpose also centered on the role of language in literacy practices and the association between family relationships and literacy practices. By conducting this study, it was the researcher’s hope that the literacy practices of immigrant families with their children contributed to the sufficient preparation of instructional planning for classroom teachers in helping ELL/ESL students improve their English language acquisition. Furthermore, the study contributed validity to the importance of identifying and acknowledging the individuality each child brings to the classroom.

This study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the key literacy practices of immigrant families in their homes with their children?
  2. What are the immigrant families’ perceptions of the connections of these practices to their cultures?
  3. How do immigrant families’ view the connection between their home literacy practices and the acquisition of English?

The results of this study indicated that there literacy practices that occurred in the homes of immigrant families. The methods for collecting the data included interviews, photo elicitation, and the use of my research journal. Three themes emerged from the overall data collection. The three themes that emerged were the studying of the Bible was the primary literacy source in the homes, homework practices were the secondary literacy source in the families’ homes, and family time activities were also literacy practices in the families’ homes. Family time activities were considered a minor theme, while studying the Bible and homework practices were major themes represented from the data. It was determined from the collected data that families engaged in key literacy practices in their homes and that also, the families perceived connections to their culture and to the enrichment of their children’s acquisition of English.

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