“My Little English:” A Case Study of Decolonial Perspectives on Discourse in an After-school Program for Refugee Youth

Michael T MacDonald


Literacy “sponsorship” in refugee communities is not without its risks and limitations. For potential sponsors, risks include the commodification of refugee voices, while limits include inaccurate generalizations of those being sponsored. This essay draws from a case study of refugee student discourse to discuss how a more explicit decolonial approach to sponsorship can help sponsors rethink a giver-receiver paradigm. This approach would first deconstruct imperialist discourses of power and then replace them with new, alternatives to meaning-making. While contingent on local contexts, this study aims to set an agenda for continued debate within refugee community literacy support projects. 

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Publication of the Community Literacy Journal is made possible through the generous support of the English Department and the Writing and Rhetoric Program at Florida International University. The CLJ is a journal of the Conference on Community Writing.