NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ848114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0034-0553
Genres, Contexts, and Literacy Practices: Literacy Brokering among Sudanese Refugee Families
Perry, Kristen H.
Reading Research Quarterly, v44 n3 p256-276 Jul-Sep 2009
This ethnographic study examined literacy brokering among Sudanese refugee families in Michigan. Literacy brokering occurs as individuals seek informal help with unfamiliar texts and literacy practices. Data collection involved participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and collection of artifacts over 18 months. Researcher analysis of data identified patterns through coding and theme analysis, using the literacy brokering event as the unit of analysis. Three southern Sudanese refugee families participated in the study, including four focal children (two boys and two girls) in kindergarten and first grade. Challenging current notions of brokering, results show that brokering was not merely a matter of translation and that issues of genre also were important. Most brokering events provided knowledge about the purposes for, uses of, and textual features of specific written genres. Together, these types of brokering contributed to Sudanese participants' understandings of texts, genres, and, most importantly, literacy practices in their new U.S. context. Many people acted as brokers for the refugees, including their own young children, who were just emerging into English literacy themselves. Literacy brokering allowed these children to help their parents as they simultaneously gained important literacy knowledge and skills themselves. These results add to existing knowledge about the construct of literacy brokering as well, the nature of literacy practices, and issues of family literacy. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
International Reading Association. 800 Barksdale Road, P.O. Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139. Tel: 800-336-7323; Fax: 302-731-1057; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan; Sudan