Immigrants’ and refugees’ ‘funds of knowledge(s)’ on the path to intercultural competence

Yecid Ortega*, Rebecca Oxford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


Funds of knowledges are the accumulated intellectual, social, and cultural competencies that all students bring to educational settings. Immigrants and refugees necessarily experience emotional, material, linguistic, cultural, and legal struggles as they transit from home countries to host countries. Their experiences expand the funds of knowledges that they develop. Education must respond to the needs of these students. A profound educational response is the narrative approach called Círculos de memoria (‘Circles of Memory’), which has been employed to create safe spaces for immigrant or refugee students to share their lived experiences and the funds of knowledge that have resulted from those experiences. This approach also allows host country students to express their own funds of knowledge. In these interactions, participants increase their sense of competence, deepen their understanding of themselves and other people, strengthen peaceful relationships, and contribute to more democratic ways of living. An understanding of societal differences can be accomplished by recognising and valuing the knowledges possessed by students from diverse backgrounds, including marginalised backgrounds. These knowledges can be promoted, celebrated, and amplified through culturally relevant teaching practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Early online date28 Jan 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 28 Jan 2023


  • Immigrants
  • Refugee
  • Funds of knowledge


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