The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

James Robinson

Second Advisor

Edward Sadrai

Third Advisor

Jamal Adam

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Factors, Language, Acquisition, ESL, Somali, Immigrants, Identity.



Thousands of Somalis call Minnesota home and it is near and dear to their hearts since their country was destroyed by a civil war in 1991, but they definitely have some language and other challenges here too. The primary aim of this study is to find out the factors that affect dual language development among young Somali immigrants. Purposive sampling was used to select a sample size of 8 Somali parents to take part in the study. The participants comprised of Somali parents who have continually resided in the United States for a period of more than10 years and this helped in obtaining reliable information. Ethnographic interviews were used to collect data from these participants where notes were taken down to record the responses with the help of a tape-recorder that was used to capture the responses that note-writing may have missed out. The data collected was transcribed and analyzed thematically where a total of ten themes were drawn from the study. The in-depth analysis of the data indicated that Somali parents value bilingualism and put efforts to ensure that their children learn both their native language and the English language. The study also identified challenges such as the school system which hinder these parents from ensuring that their children master their native language. From the findings, recommendations were drawn for the different education stakeholders comprising of parents and educators.



In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise is due to Allah who made it possible for me to complete this master’s program.

I would like to pass my sincere gratitude to my three professors and committee members, who allowed me to undertake this research on 'Factors Affecting Dual Language Development”. This topic has helped me conduct in-depth research and get a deeper insight into the factors affecting dual language development. Their guidance has been instrumental in ensuring that this research project is successful. Without their support and feedback, I would not have been the far I have come with regards to the research project. Dr. Robinson was my advisor throughout this program and he has helped me so much and was extremely resourceful in this project as well as in the courses I have completed with him. Dr. Sadrai was also very helpful and supportive in the courses I took with him as well as providing useful feedback in this project. Dr. Adam was from a different college and field of study and his insights made a big difference in completing my final project. I am forever grateful to them for their input.

I would also like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to my family for the immense support during the entire period that I have been working on this project. They helped me gather different information and gave me different perspectives of exploring the aspect of dual language development in the Somali community. They were always available to give support, despite their busy schedules. This project would surely not be complete without their immense support.

My friends have also been of great help to me during the entire period of working on the research project. They gave me encouragement and moral support during the entire period. They played a key role in ensuring that this project was successful as well. Therefore, it is in order for me to pass my sincere message of gratitude to them. I am sincerely indebted to all of them and my appreciation is a simple message of acknowledgement for their contributions and immense gratitude for the same. Thank you so much.