Language and Literacy: Children’s Experiences in Multilingual Environments

Article


Sneddon, Raymonde 2000. Language and Literacy: Children’s Experiences in Multilingual Environments. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 3 (4), pp. 265-282.
AuthorsSneddon, Raymonde
Abstract

The present study investigates the language use and literacy practices of 36 children
(aged three-and-a-half, seven and 11) from a Gujerati and Urdu-speaking Muslim community in north-east London. These experiences are explored in the children’s three-generation families, in the community and in school through interviews, recordings and observations. They are related to the children’s educational achievement and whether or not they make use of a local community cultural and religious centre. The
findings suggest that children who have access to the culture and leisure facilities of a community centre maintain a higher level of linguistic vitality in Gujerati and are more creative story tellers in both Gujerati and English than children who do not have these opportunities. Support for Gujerati in the home is oral rather than literacy-based and does not have a significant directimpact on children’s achievement in literacy. Support for literacy in English is related to books, and does have a positive impact. Overall, by
age 11, children are performing above the norms for monolingual English-speaking
children of a similar background, are fluent speakers of a dialect of Gujerati and are
becoming literate in Urdu for religious purposes.

Keywordsbilingual; education; North London; primary school children; Gujerati; Muslim; Urdu; qualitative research; community; religion; third generation; biliteracy; first language; language use; literacy; English; linguistic; community centres
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Journal citation3 (4), pp. 265-282
ISSN1367-0050
Year2000
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13670050008667711
http://hdl.handle.net/10552/190
Publication dates
Print2000
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Jun 2009
Additional information

Citation:
Sneddon,R. (2000) 'Language and Literacy: Children’s Experiences in Multilingual environments.' International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 3 (4) 265-282..

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