14 SES 12 B, Bridging the Divide between Hegemonic Discourses and the Lived Discourses of Diverse Communities: Perspectives from Spain, Taiwan, US, and Pakistan
This study examines discrepancies and consonances between new-immigrant parents and their children’s teachers regarding literacy practices and conceptions about literacy. It also investigates the potential of incorporating familial resources into literacy curricula. Using ethnographic research methods, I recruited adults of four new-immigrant families (four pairs of parents and two grandparents) and their children’s kindergarten teachers (n=6). Mothers of these families emigrated from Vietnam; fathers are Taiwanese. I conducted forty-nine formal interviews, twelve home observations, sixteen classroom observations, and collected artifacts. This study reveals that teachers and parents use different strategies to promote children’s literacy. Whereas teachers tend to develop various thematic literacy-related activities, parents emphasize children’s rote learning of phonetic signs. However, parents also support their children’s learning by engaging them in daily activities (hobbies, jobs, and participation in facets of their cultural heritage), which provide funds of knowledge that are potential literacy resources. Conceptually, teachers tend to emphasize personal functions of literacy while parents tend to think about literacy as a means and an indicator of academic competence. This study adds to the literature regarding how the literacy-based objectives of schools and the knowledge and aspirations of immigrant families might be mediated through the development of culturally responsive curricula.
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