Immigration Literacy & Dignity Project: Counteracting Xenophobia and Racism Through YPAR and Anti-Oppressive Language and Literacy Pedagogy
Kongji Qin

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

Award Year



New York University

Primary Discipline

Research Methodology/Measurement
Immigrant youth suffer from xenophobia and racism on a regular basis, which impacts their learning, well-being, and identity. Supporting immigrant youth in navigating and addressing xenophobia and racism through anti-oppressive pedagogies is a matter of educational equity. Designed as a case study of a participatory pedagogical exploration in one U.S. English language arts (ELA) classroom, this project uses multiple methods to explore how an intergenerational research collective of educators, students, activists, and university-based researchers can support immigrant youth to engage in critical inquiry and linguistic activism to counteract xenophobia and racism. Specifically, this project first examines how the ELA teacher and university-based researchers, through collaborative practitioner research, co-create a language curriculum on immigration, inequality, and inquiry. Secondly, it explores how the teacher enacts this curriculum to develop immigrant students? critical language and literacy skills. Third, it studies how students use such skills in youth participatory action research (YPAR) to interrogate and counter anti-immigration narratives through storytelling, writing, and activism. Drawing on knowledge collectively generated from the research, this project aims to build a theory of anti-oppressive language and literacy pedagogy that centers immigrant students? concerns, voice, and agency in teaching literacy for immigration justice, equity, and dignity. This project has the potential to contribute significantly to the research and practice of immigrant learner education, school-based YPAR, and anti-oppressive pedagogies.
About Kongji Qin
Kongji Qin is an Assistant Professor of Language Education in the Department of Teaching and Learning at New York University?s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. As a transnational scholar trained in both China and the United States, Dr. Qin?s research centers on understanding and addressing inequality in and through the language and literacy education of immigrant youth in U.S. schools. Drawing on critical race theories, gender studies, poststructuralist theories, postcolonial theories, and discourse analysis, his research is driven by questions that lie at the axes of immigration, language, pedagogy, identity, and justice. His work features three interconnected research programs: understanding the relationship between immigrant adolescents? negotiation of racialized masculinities and language learning, preparing linguistically responsive content teachers for immigrant students, and addressing educational inequality through anti-racist pedagogies and critical participatory action research with immigrant youth. Dr. Qin?s scholarship has been supported by the Spencer Foundation and his recent publications can be found in The Modern Language Journal, Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, Beijing International Review of Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Urban Education. Dr. Qin received his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education with a Language and Literacy Specialization from Michigan State University in 2016, and his M.A and B.A. in English Language and Literature from Huazhong (Central China) Normal University in Wuhan, China.

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