Sociocultural Literacy Practices of a Sudanese Mother and Son in Canada
Nakutnyy, Katerina Dawn Marie
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Students learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) within Canada often need extra supports. However, the further needs of students who lack first language print literacy skills are, more often than not, neglected. The purpose of this thesis is to look at the social and cultural practices of literacy of EAL learners who are illiterate or have a low level of literacy in their first language (L1), since it takes these learners significantly longer to develop Second Language Acquisition (SLA) in comparison to EAL learners who have first language print literacy skills. This thesis begins by recognizing the issue of illiteracy throughout the world and defining what literacy is from both cognitive and social theory perspectives. This study is influenced by The Cultural Practices of Literacy Study (CPLS) and draws on ethnographic methods as well as narrative inquiry in the study design. Data is collected, primarily, through interviews with the participants (a mother and her teenage son from South Sudan). The discussion chapters examine the life histories, cultures and specific literacy practices of the participants. Results demonstrate that the changes within the participants’ life histories and cultures through coming to Canada affect their sociocultural practices of literacy. Furthermore, the participants’ specific social and cultural practices of literacy include semilingualism and literacy brokering as major themes. The literature review shows that very little information exists in regard to the sociocultural practices of literacy of first language illiterate learners. Therefore, this thesis has much relevance in regard to how to better support these learners.