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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53778
Doc. No:TL23732
Call number:‭3282184‬
Main Entry:Kristen H. Perry
Title & Author:“Look, you have to sign”: Literacy practices among Sudanese refugee familiesKristen H. Perry
College:Michigan State University
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:350
Abstract:Through this ethnographic study, I examined literacy practices among Sudanese refugees, focusing on the ways in which refugee families make sense of and negotiate texts and practices in the U.S. These refugees relied upon literacy brokers to help them understand issues related to language, culture, and genre in texts and literacy practices. Literacy brokering also was an important family literacy practice, as even young children brokered texts within the family. The following research foci shaped this study: (1) How do the language and literacy practices of these Sudanese refugee families in the U.S. reflect the different layers of their experiences as refugees? (2) How do these refugees negotiate, appropriate, and/or transform literacy practices through these experiences? and (3) How are the young Sudanese refugee children from these families negotiating or making sense of the differences between U.S. school-based literacies and the literacy practices of their homes and communities? Data collection for this study involved participant-observation; semi-structured interviews with participants; and collection of artifacts. Data analysis relied upon literacy events as the unit of analysis, following Heath (1983), which were coded for texts, languages, social activity domains, and other contextual factors within each event. Emerging themes also were identified in the data, with a focus on literacy brokering. Focal participants in this study included three refugee families from Southern Sudan, all of whom had sojourned in Middle Eastern countries before resettling in Michigan. Results indicate that the parents relied upon literacy brokers to help them understand texts and literacy practices in the U.S. Literacy brokering provided three types of knowledge: (1) lexico-syntactic and graphophonic knowledge related to encoding/decoding, vocabulary, and syntax; (2) cultural knowledge related to cultural information, beliefs and values, and expectations; and (3) genre knowledge related to the purpose and use of different genres, the specific features of those genres, and the purpose, use, and organization of those features. Parents in the three families relied upon a variety of different brokers, including their own young children. The results of this study illustrate how—and what—people must learn in order to effectively participate in literacy practices. These findings also add to current understandings of child brokering in immigrant communities by showing that even emergent readers and writers can broker texts, and by illustrating that child brokering may impact families from different cultural communities in different ways. Insights for adult literacy/ESL pedagogy and future research are discussed.
Subject:Education; Families; Literacy practices; Refugee; Sudanese; Language arts; Bilingual education; Multicultural education; 0282:Multicultural education; 0279:Language arts; 0282:Bilingual education
Added Entry:N. K. Duke
Added Entry:Michigan State University