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ERIC Number: ED567345
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 280
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6764-7
Cultural Literacy Assimilation: The Literacy Experiences of Children of Immigrants
Rosen, Dana
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Although students' literacy practices are influenced by a variety of sources, including texts, teachers, peers, the media, and their home culture (Dyson, 1993), the process of becoming literate is truly grounded in their cultural beliefs (Ferdman, 1990). Literacy skills are embedded in cultural practice, and cultural practice is learned implicitly through participating within the culture (Purcell-Gates, 1995). This research explored the literate worlds of non-mainstream families to determine how culture and literacy could be merged effectively. The purpose of this comparative case study was to determine how literacy practices are developed through cultural and family ideologies, or the ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of a culture. The research attempted to find what types of culturally specific literacy practices existed among students of immigrant families by concentrating on literacy practices, purposes for literacy, and cultural values. Other questions explored how these practices contributed to literacy development, how particular purposes for literacy guided the learner's sense of cultural action, and how literacy and identity varied across cultures. The goal of this study was to recognize and acknowledge the complex nature of transnational communities and their cultural systems that contributed to the literacy practices within and among immigrant families. Another important goal was to understand how these experiences interfaced with school and community literacy practices. Using a comparative case study methodology (Creswell, 1998), this study explored the interaction between literacy and culture to portray the literacy events and practices of four 2nd grade students from a local elementary school. Data were collected through observations, interviews, questionnaires, home visits, photographic evidence, and journals. Data consisted of one survey for the parents to indicate components of family history and ethnicity. I also asked students to use a journal to write about their language, literacy, or cultural events, and take photographs of their home. I then asked students to discuss and describe their journals and photographs together in a focus group interview. The data also consisted of two (or more) home visits to gain firsthand knowledge of the family dynamics, the home layout, and material artifacts, as well as two interviews with the family members to determine relevant background and cultural information. Interview protocols, observation records, and artifact collection forms were designed to investigate further the central research questions as well as issues raised by the literature review, and finally, to facilitate data analysis. The research was viewed through a sociocultural lens. A sociocultural perspective maintains that behavior and cognitive processes are shaped in a large part by a social and cultural context (Vygotsky, 1978). Sociocultural theory, best explained through the work of Vygotsky (1978/1986), asserts that in order to fully understand a child, one must first examine the social world in which his or her life developed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 2; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A