ERIC Number: ED224345
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Acquisition of Biliteracy: A Comparative Ethnography of Minority Ethnolinguistic Schools in New York City. Final Report (First Part).
Fishman, Joshua A.; And Others
Factors that might influence the acquisition of biliteracy were studied in four schools in the Greater New York Metropolitan Area (an Armenian-English school, a Greek-English school, a Hebrew-English school, and a French-English school). This report, the first of two parts, was written after 2 years of study in which the second year was spent both on further data collection and on confirming and processing data. The effect of studying two different scripts, and societal, pedagogical, and dialectal influences were addressed. Based on ethnographic observations, it is concluded that: (1) the students seemed to read and write English at least as well as those in monoliterate schools, and were also reading another language reasonably well; (2) discrepant writing systems rarely posed difficulty for biliteracy acquisition; (3) discrepancies between the spoken and printed language did not seem to complicate biliteracy acquisition any more than they do for monoliteracy acquisition; (4) teaching methods appeared to be minor factors in literacy acquisition, relative to other variables influencing this process; (5) English literacy was valued as a key to success in the world at large and as a key to ethnic approbation and leadership; (6) the major literacy-related problem of the minority ethnic language school was not so much the acquisition of biliteracy but the maintenance of biliteracy past adolescence, particularly of the minority language; and (7) minority language literacy is related to kin and community, history, and religious rituals. (SW)
Descriptors: Armenian, Bilingual Education, Bilingual Schools, Bilingualism, Classroom Observation Techniques, Cultural Background, Elementary Secondary Education, English, Ethnic Groups, Ethnicity, Ethnography, French, Greek, Hebrew, Language Acquisition, Language Role, Oral Language, Orthographic Symbols, Private Schools, Religious Cultural Groups, Second Language Learning, Sociolinguistics, Teaching Methods, Written Language
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Yeshiva Univ., New York, NY. Ferkauf Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Identifiers: New York (New York)
Note: For related document, see FL 013 392.