Explaining success and failure in mainstream schooling through the lens of cultural continuities and discontinuities: Two case studies

Susan Markose*, Meeri Hellstén

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article investigates the home literacy practices of two immigrant families, one each of Lebanese and Chinese descent. It explores the consequences of mismatches between home and school literacy practices in relation to mainstream academic outcomes. Two mothers of the families in this study are interviewed about their beliefs and parenting practices in regard to literacy acquisition. Their understandings of literacy and its purpose and their struggle to socialise their children into acquiring the literacies valued by their community form the basis of this study. It is argued that conceptions of literacy and literacy practices themselves are entrenched in the socio-cultural contexts of which families are a part. Results reveal that discontinuities between mainstream and migrants' home literacies have an impact on mainstream literacy acquisition of migrant children. The findings suggest a need to recognise and embed home literacy practices in mainstream schools in order to ensure the acquisition of school literacies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-77
    Number of pages19
    JournalLanguage and Education
    Volume23
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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