Telling the story of the Computer Geek: children becoming authors and translators

Article


Sneddon, R. 2012. Telling the story of the Computer Geek: children becoming authors and translators. Language and Education. 26 (5), pp. 435-450.
AuthorsSneddon, R.
Abstract

The paper offers a case study of two bilingual girls aged 10, born in London, of Albanian-speaking families who arrived in the UK as refugees. An earlier study, when the girls were aged six, explored the strategies they used as they learned to read with their mothers in Albanian using dual language books. Four years on, supported by a primary school in East London that values the bilingualism of its pupils, the girls have become authors. Based on observation, recordings and transcription, the present study follows them as they create their own dual language book: composing a joint story in English and translating it into Albanian. Through an analysis of transcripts and observations, the paper explores how the girls face the challenges of translation. Working together in school, without a dictionary, the girls use their own linguistic resources to negotiate meaning and to achieve the close translation that they know is expected in a dual language text. In the process, they reveal to the researcher their understanding of how their languages work. In a reflection on their journey towards biliteracy, they acknowledge the important role played by their teachers in encouraging their bilingual development and reveal their pride in becoming authors.

KeywordsAlbanians; refugees; bilingualism
JournalLanguage and Education
Journal citation26 (5), pp. 435-450
ISSN1747-7581
0950-0782
Year2012
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09500782.2012.656650
Publication dates
Print08 Mar 2012
Publication process dates
Deposited20 May 2013
Copyright informationThis is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Language and Education, 26(5), pp. 435-450, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09500782.2012.656650
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