Exploring the Literacy Practices of Preschool Bilingual Spanish-English Speaking Children

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/194800
Title:
Exploring the Literacy Practices of Preschool Bilingual Spanish-English Speaking Children
Author:
Soltero Gonzalez, Lucinda A
Issue Date:
2007
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This dissertation examines the literacy practices of 5-year-old Mexican immigrant children within a preschool that serves mostly Spanish-dominant bilingual students. The dominant language of instruction is English. The preschool is located in a working-class community in Southern Arizona, where the anti-bilingual education legislation restricts public school programs that support children's native language.Drawing on a sociocultural perspective, the study examines how children come to know literacy given the social organization of the classroom and the children's literacy history; what the functions of literacy are from the teacher's and the children's perspectives; and how children integrate their sociolinguistic and literate experiences from home into the schooled literacy practices.The study challenges the readiness approach and subtractive bilingualism that characterized teacher-guided literacy practices. It reflects critically on the sociopolitical forces supporting the uses of hegemonic English literacy in the classroom, which ignored the role that children's linguistic and home literacy experiences have in their learning. Further, the study discusses how the children's agency and some enabling factors in the classroom structure facilitated the creation of new learning spaces.In these child-created spaces children developed hybrid practices that combined elements of instructional literacy with spontaneous literacy practices. These alternative literacy experiences allowed children to use the linguistic resources they had available from their first and second languages and to bring meaning to the narrowly defined instructional literacy practices.The use of hybrid and multimodal meaning-making practices played a central role in the children's literacy explorations. The children's emerging bilingualism mediated not only social interaction but also literacy learning. Children used both Spanish and English as self-directive, representational, and communicative tools. Additionally, the use of hybrid language practices allowed children to create a collaborative environment that furthered their literacy learning. However, these unofficial literacies were, for the most part, disregarded by the teacher and the official curriculum.This dissertation encourages researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners to redefine dominant views of early literacy and bilingual education as well as to revalue hybrid language and literacy practices as possibilities for connecting the official world of the classroom with the children's sociolinguistic and literacy practices from home.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Language, Reading & Culture; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Short, Kathleen G
Committee Chair:
Short, Kathleen G

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleExploring the Literacy Practices of Preschool Bilingual Spanish-English Speaking Childrenen_US
dc.creatorSoltero Gonzalez, Lucinda Aen_US
dc.contributor.authorSoltero Gonzalez, Lucinda Aen_US
dc.date.issued2007en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines the literacy practices of 5-year-old Mexican immigrant children within a preschool that serves mostly Spanish-dominant bilingual students. The dominant language of instruction is English. The preschool is located in a working-class community in Southern Arizona, where the anti-bilingual education legislation restricts public school programs that support children's native language.Drawing on a sociocultural perspective, the study examines how children come to know literacy given the social organization of the classroom and the children's literacy history; what the functions of literacy are from the teacher's and the children's perspectives; and how children integrate their sociolinguistic and literate experiences from home into the schooled literacy practices.The study challenges the readiness approach and subtractive bilingualism that characterized teacher-guided literacy practices. It reflects critically on the sociopolitical forces supporting the uses of hegemonic English literacy in the classroom, which ignored the role that children's linguistic and home literacy experiences have in their learning. Further, the study discusses how the children's agency and some enabling factors in the classroom structure facilitated the creation of new learning spaces.In these child-created spaces children developed hybrid practices that combined elements of instructional literacy with spontaneous literacy practices. These alternative literacy experiences allowed children to use the linguistic resources they had available from their first and second languages and to bring meaning to the narrowly defined instructional literacy practices.The use of hybrid and multimodal meaning-making practices played a central role in the children's literacy explorations. The children's emerging bilingualism mediated not only social interaction but also literacy learning. Children used both Spanish and English as self-directive, representational, and communicative tools. Additionally, the use of hybrid language practices allowed children to create a collaborative environment that furthered their literacy learning. However, these unofficial literacies were, for the most part, disregarded by the teacher and the official curriculum.This dissertation encourages researchers, teacher educators, and practitioners to redefine dominant views of early literacy and bilingual education as well as to revalue hybrid language and literacy practices as possibilities for connecting the official world of the classroom with the children's sociolinguistic and literacy practices from home.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorShort, Kathleen Gen_US
dc.contributor.chairShort, Kathleen Gen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberReyes, Ilianaen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGoodman, Yetta M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMoll, Luis C.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest2062en_US
dc.identifier.oclc659747174en_US
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