Home literacy education of Taiwanese Australian families : a sociological analysis

Chiang, Pei-Shan (2010) Home literacy education of Taiwanese Australian families : a sociological analysis. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This research investigates home literacy education practices of Taiwanese families in Australia. As Taiwanese immigrants represent the largest ¡°Chinese Australian¡± subgroup to have settled in the state of Queensland, teachers in this state often face the challenges of cultural differences between Australian schools and Taiwanese homes. Extensive work by previous researchers suggests that understanding the cultural and linguistic differences that influence how an immigrant child views and interacts with his/her environment is a possible way to minimise the challenges. Cultural practices start from infancy and at home. Therefore, this study is focused on young children who are around the age of four to five. It is a study that examines the form of literacy education that is enacted and valued by Taiwanese parents in Australia. Specifically, this study analyses ¡°what literacy knowledge and skill is taught at home?¡±, ¡°how is it taught?¡± and ¡°why is it taught?¡± The study is framed in Pierre Bourdieu.s theory of social practice that defines literacy from a sociological perspective. The aim is to understand the practices through which literacy is taught in the Taiwanese homes. Practices of literacy education are culturally embedded. Accordingly, the study shows the culturally specialised ways of learning and knowing that are enacted in the study homes. The study entailed four case studies that draw on: observations and recording of the interactions between the study parent and child in their literacy events; interviews and dialogues with the parents involved; and a collection of photographs of the children.s linguistic resources and artefacts. The methodological arguments and design addressed the complexity of home literacy education where Taiwanese parents raise children in their own cultural ways while adapting to a new country in an immigrant context. In other words, the methodology not only involves cultural practices, but also involves change and continuity in home literacy practices. Bernstein.s theory of pedagogic discourse was used to undertake a detailed analysis of parents. selection and organisation of content for home literacy education, and the evaluative criteria they established for the selected literacy knowledge and skill. This analysis showed how parents selected and controlled the interactions in their child.s literacy learning. Bernstein.s theory of pedagogic discourse was used also to analyse change and continuity in home literacy practice, specifically, the concepts of ¡°classification¡± and ¡°framing¡±. The design of this study aimed to gain an understanding of parents. literacy teaching in an immigrant context. The study found that parents tended to value and enact traditional practices, yet most of the parents were also searching for innovative ideas for their adult-structured learning. Home literacy education of Taiwanese families in this study was found to be complex, multi-faceted and influenced in an ongoing way by external factors. Implications for educators and recommendations for future study are provided. The findings of this study offer early childhood teachers in Australia understandings that will help them build knowledge about home literacy education of Taiwanese Australian families.

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ID Code: 43678
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Dooley, Karen, Doherty, Catherine, & Kapitzke, Cushla
Keywords: home literacy education, Taiwanese Australian families, reading, writing, habitus, cultural capital, pedagogic discourse, parent-child pedagogic relation, literacy practice and parental values, beliefs and views
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2011 01:24
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2011 01:24

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