ERIC Number: ED355822
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Bilingual (Spanish and English) Adults: Achieving Literacy in the First Language.
Wooden, Sharon L.; Hurley, Sandra R.
In response to problems encountered in teaching Spanish to native speakers who had learned Spanish as their first (oral) language but because of their schooling were literate only in English, a study was conducted to explore issues related to development of native-language literacy skills after acquisition of second-language literacy. Two adult university students, both first-generation Americans who spoke Spanish at home but gained literacy skills only in English, were interviewed concerning their literacy learning and language background. This information was analyzed in the context of relevant research literature on language loss and shift, language maintenance, and reading processes. Findings in these areas are outlined, with reference to excerpts of interviews with the subjects. Both students had experienced native language loss due to both cultural and demographic influences, primarily all-English schooling and contact with English-speaking children, and expressed their own and family members' disappointment at that phenomenon. Language loyalty and migration patterns are seen as important factors in language maintenance. The subjects used English reading skills to learn to read in Spanish. It is suggested that teachers of Spanish to native speakers provide meaningful learning activities in a supportive climate, a developmental approach to instruction, and instruction that validates native culture, and literature by same-culture authors. The story of one of the students, written by herself, is appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Arizona Educational Research Organization (Phoenix, AZ, November 1992).