Developing Inclusive Multilingual Family Literacy Projects
"Our Multilingual Family Literacy Project was designed in collaboration with a language immersion school in the Midwest that we call the Spanish Immersion Elementary School (SIES). At the time of our partnership, SIES was a one-way or foreign-language immersion school serving kindergarten to fifth grades. Providing the majority of instruction in Spanish through second grade (at which point students attended an English Language Arts class each day), SIES was designed primarily for native English speakers to learn and study their content material in Spanish. However, with a diverse population that included many native Spanish speakers as well as African American youth, there was not one dominant home language across the student body (see Figure 1). The school was rich in language varieties and cultural diversity. Ultimately, SIES aimed to graduate biliterate students with academic proficiency in Spanish and English, and they wanted to develop a family literacy project that honored and built upon families’ backgrounds and languages. In turn, we worked with SIES to develop a Multilingual Family Literacy Project, which included one major introductory event for the entire school and a series of workshops for a small number of families. In contrast to traditional family literacy programs, our project was designed with the following ethos."--Page 2.
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