ERIC Number: ED420845
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-14
Reference Count: N/A
Biliteracy Development: Perspectives from Research in Children's Reading and Writing.
Dworin, Joel E.
Several qualitative studies in biliteracy (a term used to describe children's literate competencies in two languages) among students in English/Spanish bilingual elementary school classrooms have as their core thesis the notion that children, from both Latina/o and other student populations, have the potential to develop literacy in two languages and that these literacies can develop within classroom settings. Little research has been conducted on biliteracy in classroom settings. Even in the field of literacy research, where attention to how different "literacies" are related to social contexts and cultural practices has become a prominent feature of study, the topic of biliteracy has not received much, if any, attention. The study of biliteracy provides a different perspective through which educators may understand Latina/o students in bilingual settings. One of the most significant findings from the qualitative studies (conducted between 1989 and 1996 in the Tucson, Arizona area) was that children's biliteracy development can be attained with deliberate support in classroom settings. Findings also suggest that there are multiple paths to children's biliteracy development; it was the bilingual students who were more equipped to fully participate in activities than their monolingual English peers; there must be a sufficiently viable community of Spanish-speakers as a part of the broader sociolinguistic environment to support classroom biliteracy; teachers who brought a dynamic, holistic philosophy and practice to their classrooms facilitated biliteracy; and biliteracy development may be enhanced by certain combinations of student characteristics. Although more research is needed, biliteracy development holds promise for initiating and sustaining truly "additive bilingualism" in schools. (Contains 38 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona (Tucson)