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ERIC Number: ED357342
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov-20
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Inviting Children's Life Stories into the Elementary Classroom: The Storied Life of a Second-Language Learner.
Wason-Ellam, Linda
An ethnographic study examined the experiences of Karim (a member of the Ismaili cultural community in Canada), enrolled in an urban grade two multi-lingual classroom comprised of Canadian-born children who are second generation immigrants and whose daily lives are conducted in a language other than English. A researcher participated in the children's daily literacy routines during the course of one school year. Classroom activities were structured to promote the kinds of meaningful interactions that enables these children to understand the language of their peers with contextual support for figuring out the meanings. Sharing or Personal Storytelling Time was a unique classroom experience which provides the ideal situation for students like Karim to participate socially. Karim was a natural storyteller--he seized the opportunity to move beyond dialogical classroom talk to relate to others, within earshot, animated accounts from his well of lived experiences. Karim's stories indicated that he is accommodating without assimilating into the classroom community, and that he may be experiencing an internal conflict or ambivalence. The unfamiliar patterns of Standard English pronunciation, spelling, and handwriting constrained Karim's enthusiastic writing efforts. Implications of Karim's story are: (1) too often, teachers focus heavily on how different these children are from their native-English speaking classmates; (2) authentic sustained talk such as storytelling should be sustained; (3) teachers need to be sensitive to the classroom community as a whole; and (4) these children need to be seen for what they are--children. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada