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ERIC Number: EJ1124500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Exceeding Boundaries: Chinese Children's Playful Use of Languages in Their Literacy Practices in a Mandarin-English Bilingual Program
Zhang, Yan; Guo, Yan
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v20 n1 p52-68 2017
Chinese children of immigrant families are often perceived as good at memorization and rote learning or as polite, obedient, and passive students lacking creativity and criticality. Guided by Multiple Literacies Theory and translanguaging, this study explores how Chinese children in a Mandarin-English bilingual program skillfully navigate different languages in their literacy practices. Data collection included classroom observations of eight students, interviews with their parents and teachers, and artifacts of students' work. Results indicate that these children exceeded languages boundaries among English, Hanyu Pinyin, simplified and traditional scripts of Chinese in their literacy practices. They demonstrated creative uses of languages, such as inventing poems, playfully creating nicknames and homonyms. These children were critical of copying Chinese characters, a common literacy practice in Chinese learning, challenging both the authority of the teacher and of the text. Their creativity and criticality counter the traditional image of Chinese learners. The study suggests educators need to question the boundaries around languages, recognize students' creativity, and practise flexible bilingualism and flexible pedagogy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A