Children’s Bilingual and Biliteracy Development through Literacy Events and Practices within Home and Community Context in Taiwan
English language learning
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study examines young children’s bilingual and biliteracy development through home literacy practices and community literacy events before schooling in Taiwan. It focuses on how parents’ language ideologies affect their family’s literacy practices and how parents support children’s bilingual and biliteracy development outside of the school context.Through the lens of sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and the language ideology approach (Woolard, 1998), this study used shadowing observations, conversational interviews and documentation of family literacy practices and children’s unconventional writing artifacts to explore how parents’ personal and sociocultural factors construct their language ideologies and how children develop two languages (i.e. Mandarin and English) with parental support. The findings demonstrate that parents play significantly important roles in children’s bilingual and biliteracy development at young age. Parents’ past experiences with English language learning, perspective toward being bilingual, expectations for their children and occupations have a large impact on their home literacy practices. In addition, parents are children’s first teachers and facilitators. In this study, parents were aware that creating social interaction with friends and peers for their children to use both languages on a daily basis has a positive influence on children’s bilingual development. Moreover, although children initiate most of the home literacy events, parents are the ones who introduce home and community literacy events to their children at the very beginning. Furthermore, parents in the current study have shown their consistent support and involvement in children’s bilingual and biliteracy development. Based on the findings, I suggest that parents have tremendous influence on their family literacy practices and young children’s bilingual and biliteracy development. Young children’s bilingual and biliteracy development is a continuing process, which requires consistent support through social interactions on a daily basis. Additionally, there is a strong relationship between parents’ ideologies and family literacy practices in the study; however, not all parents are able to put their beliefs and expectations for their children into actions. I suggest that parents and families work with other parents in the community and use local resources to support children’s language development. Moreover, parents’ collaborations with educators and educational institutions are required to prepare children for transitioning from the home context to the school context.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading & Culture