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Profiles in Emergent Biliteracy

Children Making Meaning in a Chicano Community

Series:

Cathrene M. Connery

How do young children learn to read, write, speak, and listen in two languages? How do emergent readers and writers make meaning within multilingual communities? This book examines the emergent biliteracy development of two kindergarteners growing up in a New Mexican neighborhood. Using ethnographic accounts, the book portrays the familial, communal, and academic contexts in which the children appropriated dual proficiencies in English and Spanish, and provides a window into the homes and lives of these working-class boys and the political, philosophical, and pedagogical world of their bilingual kindergarten. The complexity of emergent biliteracy as a sociocultural-semiotic process is elaborated through Vygotskian theory, the multiple voices of these children, and the action research of their teacher.
M. Cathrene Connery is Assistant Professor of Education at Ithaca College. A bilingual educator, professor, and advocate, her work draws on Vygotskian theory to examine the nature of creativity and the interface between language, literacy, and sociocultural studies. Dr. Connery has presented on theoretical, pedagogic, and programmatic concerns surrounding the education of culturally and linguistically diverse children for the past 25 years.