First Advisor

Kimberley Brown

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language




Hmong American women -- Social life and customs, Hmong American women -- Cultural assimilation, Hmong (Asian people) -- Social life and customs, Hmong women -- Family relationships, Second language acquisition



Physical Description

1 online resource ( ix, 149 pages)


The life experiences of two first generation Hmong refugee women form the basis of this study. Through loosely structured but guided interviews, memories of their lives in Laos and in refugee camps in Thailand, as well as their perspectives, feelings, and opinions about current aspects of their lives, the effects of American culture on their family; and their engagement in the language and culture learning process are explored.

An examination of the involvement of Hmong women in research and ethnographic accounts concerning Hmong culture, history, and experience, show that Hmong women's perspectives have often been overlooked or disregarded. One purpose of this study is to afford an opportunity to hear the voices of these Hmong women, whose lives are centered in the home and in maintenance of family, and whose responsibilities and cultural roles have limited their contribution to research and literature on the Hmong and their participation in refugee and immigrant resettlement and English language programs.

The data for this study was collected in tape recorded interviews using an informal, loosely structured interview process: a conversational narrative rather than a formal oral history interview. This data was then transcribed and reconstructed to form both a chronological personal history and a view of the culture and current lives of the informants.

The perspectives of the women in this study, revealed through the conversational narratives, are shown to reflect the informants past reality and demonstrate their attempts to adjust to a new cultural identity and environment. Moreover, conversational narratives and oral histories are shown to be potentially valuable resources for culture and language learning and suggest meaningful applications for English as a Second Language education and refugee resettlement.


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