EDEC 248 Chapter Notes -Heritage Language, Model Minority, Participant Observation

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A TALE OF TWO MONTREAL COMMUNITIES
40% of Montreal residents speak three languages
Anglophones families who have chosen French immersion vs. Chinese immigrant families who
attend French language schools
18.5% on Montreal population is Anglophone; 1.4% in Chinese
comparison will show underlying forces & literacy practices that define elements essential to
promoting desired language & literacy outcomes
examine children’s bilingual & biliterate development in Anglophone community & multilingual
& multiliterate development in Chinese community
consider perspective of parents
goal: identify factors that transcend these obvious differences & highlight shared positive &
culturally specific factors that influence effective & successful learning
Context and Theoretical Framework
English is majority language in Canada and in some parts of Montreal; Chinese is minority
everywhere in Canada
active parental participation/support essential for successful multilingual education
Asian parents’ high expectations/aspirations for child’s education can partially account for
academic success explained culturally
explanation for success of French Immersion = parents high aspirations/expectations for
children
in both communities aspirations/expectations related to language & literacy development &
academic success appear to influence parents’ choices & practices in relation to children’s
education
education choices show parents have understanding of literacy & language development as a
social and cultural practice
examine parents past & present cultural and educational experiences which shaped what they
belief
Methodology
data collection and organization
o semi-structured interviews with each family in home in home language & later
transcribed
o participant observation in school & community
o focus of interviews: how different values/beliefs/practices/power issues shape parents’
perceptions of their literacy practices
o explore language(s) spoken at home, language profiles, length of residence in Quebec,
opinions about Quebec’s language policies, etc.
participant profiles
o parents representing 10 Chinese immigrant families, 13 Anglophone families
o Chinese community participants
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