Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2020

Document Type

Thesis (699 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Linda Houts-Smith


Assimilation, Adaptation, Integration, Kurdish immigrants, Language proficiency



The objective of this study was to identify what factors may contribute to the adaptation of Kurdish immigrant adults into American society. Of particular interest is whether an immigrant’s age and whether knowledge of English are major influences. Previous research indicated that these two may be factors, but no research on the Kurdish community was conducted. This study attempts to fill that gap and find out if the Kurdish community follows patterns seen with other groups. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect data via interviews. Participants consisted of 20 Kurdish immigrant adults (ages 18-70) of families in Fargo-Moorhead Area. Interviews were recorded in two ways: through notes taken by the interviewer and with a digital recorder. After collecting the data, interviews were partially transcribed, and the qualitative data analyzed via coding, while the quantitative data was analyzed with descriptive statistics. The research revealed eight factors that contributed to adaptation of Kurdish immigrants into American society, including five that agree with work by previous researchers. Language plays a significant role in assimilation among Kurdish immigrants. Those who are fluent in English are well accepted in the community. Younger Kurdish immigrants learn English easier and quicker, and as a result they adapt quicker. My study also found that age and gender offset the number of years in country as a factor. Finally, the weather arose as a factor that has not been discussed in previous literature.

Keywords: Assimilation, Adaptation, Integration, Kurdish immigrants, Language proficiency



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