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ERIC Number: EJ785978
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1534-8458
Literacy and Identity: A View from the Bridge in Two Multicultural London Schools
Wallace, Catherine
Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, v7 n1 p61-80 Jan 2008
In this article, I examine the manner in which identity impacts on literacy practices, with reference to two 9-year-old girls and two 15-year-old boys who speak or have access to two or more languages. The younger children were part of a year-long study of the British National Literacy Strategy (Wallace, 2005). The older two were interviewed in the context of a study of children's responses to the cultural content of school texts. My aim is to establish how the children's talk about and around literacy reveals what are salient identities for these young people. I identify 4 interwoven strands that emerge from the children's talk, characterised as "I come from here" identity, "back home identity," "language identity," and "religious identity." I argue that these interwoven identities represent for the children a potentially rich resource to engage critically with school texts. This is evident in moments of discourse in which particular identities are invoked to build bridges between the children's diverse personal histories and the texts and practices validated by school. I conclude by drawing some implications for schooling and for the children's futures. (Contains 5 endnotes.)
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (London)