ERIC Number: ED406864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Literacy Practices and Linguistic Choices: A Sociocultural Study of a Multilingual Adult Literacy Student Group.
Black, Stephen R.; Thorp, Kay
The report describes a study of a multilingual group of six adult literacy students, five women and one man, enrolled in an English literacy class at an Australian college. Subjects' countries of origin include Afghanistan, Indonesia/China, Lebanon, Iran, and China. The study examined factors affecting subjects' daily literacy practices and language choices. Students' statements are presented and summarized on these topics: personal linguistic background; language choices and code-switching; literacies and competence levels; use of family and social support networks; effects of literacy on dependency and the exercise of social power; problems involving children and language shift; and the perceived value ascribed to specific English literacy practices in both personal and family contexts. Results showed extensive previous language learning exposure and a number of variables influencing code-switching behavior in reading and writing. Variation was also found in literacy levels, depending largely on education and motivation to attain literacy. All subjects needed social support networks in their literacy practices, although the networks vary. For three students, dependency patterns in the home due to lack of literacy were a significant issue. In some cases, intergenerational family language issues emerged. Pedagogical implications are discussed. Contains 61 references. (MSE) (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse on Literacy Education)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Students, Children, Code Switching (Language), Cultural Pluralism, English (Second Language), Family Influence, Family Relationship, Foreign Countries, Language Attitudes, Language Maintenance, Language Role, Language Usage, Literacy Education, Multilingualism, Social Support Groups, Sociolinguistics, Student Characteristics
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Sydney Inst. of TAFE, Meadowbank (Australia).