Date of Award



© 2015 Pankaj Sharma

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Carol Holmquist

Second Advisor

Michelle Collay

Third Advisor

Grania Holman


Punjabi-speaking immigrants to the United States find many successes and face many challenges as they strive to become full citizens of their new communities. There are success stories and obstacles faced by immigrants as they embark upon a journey from another country. This study examined what major obstacles Punjabi speaking immigrants face when they immigrated from India, including poverty, lack of employment, and stress specifically related to moving from the Punjabi to English language that ultimately affect the acculturation process for the entire family. The study also looked at support received by Punjabi immigrants from others in the community and at the workplace. Interviews were conducted with 10 participants, of which five were former employees and five were individuals from the community. Their experiences and stories shaped the focus of this study. There were three major findings from this study. First, the native language was an obstruction to understanding. Second, English language is so essential to the execution of common tasks that Punjabi speakers experienced Maslow level-one fears. Third, learning a language is a function of community, and for Punjabi speakers, community cannot be assumed to exist at the language center. The greatest amount of support received by the participants was at the workplace. The workplace was a safe haven in which they could practice their English skills freely and be supported by their colleagues.


Ed.D. Dissertation