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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24922

Title: Implementation and Evaluation of a Chinese Language Family Literacy Program: Impact on Young Children's Literacy Development in Chinese and English
Authors: Zhang, Jing
Advisor: Pelletier, Janette
Department: Human Development and Applied Psychology
Keywords: family literacy
early childhood education
early literacy development
Early Chinese literacy development
Early English literacy development
Issue Date: 2-Sep-2010
Abstract: Previous research on family literacy in North America has generally been conducted in English, even if the program targets English for speakers of other languages. However, the differences in English proficiency among parent participants may vary enormously in ways that are not easily predictable. In addition to the differences in parent participants’ English proficiency and their concept and experience of instruction, parents from diverse cultural backgrounds also have differences in parental beliefs, parental roles in supporting educational achievement and communicating with the school. All these differences make the provision of family literacy programs which target minority families as one group a challenging endeavor, both in program design and implementation. This study investigated the potential learning outcomes when a family literacy program with language supports were provided to Chinese immigrant families. An eight-week (two hours per week) literacy program was implemented in three Chinese community centers in Ontario, Canada. The overall objectives of the study were to provide a Chinese family literacy program in the Chinese community using Chinese as the language of instruction, and to evaluate the impact of this culturally related family literacy program in terms of children’s gains in both English and Chinese. This study has shown that a family literacy intervention, adapted for use with Chinese preschoolers and their parents, can have a significant and positive impact on children’s literacy development in both English and Chinese. This study found that children’s expressive vocabulary (both in English and in Chinese) improved as a result of the intervention. Children’s knowledge of the alphabet and their ability to produce letter-sounds improved significantly more if their parents participated in the intervention. Further, it was shown that specific home literacy environments in Chinese and in English are related to children’s literacy development in both languages. In Chinese, the number of Chinese reading materials in the home had the greatest impact on children’s Chinese receptive and expressive vocabularies. In English, the age at which the child was first read to in English had the greatest impact on children’s English expressive vocabularies, their letter-sound production knowledge, and their early reading ability. The study has shown that the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate family literacy support goes a long way in helping diverse families to foster optimal literacy experiences for their young children at home.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24922
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology - Doctoral theses

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