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Home language and literacy practices among immigrant second-language learners

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 September 2014

L. Quentin Dixon
Texas A&M University, Texas,,
Shuang Wu
Texas A&M University, Texas,,


Because certain home language and literacy practices have been found to be beneficial to monolingual children's literacy development, we examine immigrant children's home language and literacy practices in different countries. Presenting findings from 92 post-2000 articles, we examine research into these practices, what factors influence their occurrence, how they influence immigrant children's development of literacy in the societal language, and what factors seem to moderate or mediate the effects of home literacy activities on societal-language literacy. We found that immigrant families engage in a wide variety of oral language and literacy activities at home, but that most of these practices have not been investigated in relation to immigrant children's literacy development. Book reading, the most-studied practice, seems to promote such development. Additional research is needed into the many factors that influence children's literacy development, including government policies and community context. In addition, researchers need to build on existing descriptive and correlational studies to design and implement innovative school curricula and family literacy programs that connect home and school practices and encourage parental involvement in the school.

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