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A bilingual, bicultural interpreter and researcher navigates blurry boundaries and intersectionality

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A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The

A researcher reflects using a close reading of interview transcripts and description to share what happened while participating in multiple roles in a larger ethnographic study of the acculturation process of deaf students in kindergarten classrooms in three countries. The course of this paper will focus on three instances that took place in Japan and America. The analysis of these examples will bring to light the concept of taking on multiple roles, including graduate research assistant, interpreter, cultural mediator, and sociolinguistic consultant within a research project serving to uncover challenging personal and professional dilemmas and crossing boundaries; the dual roles, interpreter and researcher being the primary focus. This analysis results in a brief look at a thought provoking, yet evolving task of the researcher/interpreter. Maintaining multiple roles in the study the researcher is able to potentially identify and contribute "hidden" knowledge that may have been overlooked by other members of the research team. Balancing these different roles become key implications when interpreting practice, ethical boundaries, and participant research at times the lines of separation are blurred.

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2011

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Raising children bilingually in mixed marriages: stories of four Vietnamese-Caucasian families

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This study examines the experiences of parents in mixed marriages (Vietnamese married to non-Vietnamese) raising their children in the United States. Specifically, this study focused on what factors influence parents' development of family language policies and patterns of language use.

This study examines the experiences of parents in mixed marriages (Vietnamese married to non-Vietnamese) raising their children in the United States. Specifically, this study focused on what factors influence parents' development of family language policies and patterns of language use. While research has been done on language policy and planning at the macro-level and there are an increasing number of studies on family language policy at the microlevel, few studies have focused on couples in mixed marriages who are heritage language speakers of the language they are trying to teach their children. This study used both surveys and interviews to gather data about parents' beliefs and attitudes towards bilingualism and the heritage language (HL), strategies parents are using to teach their children the HL, and major challenges they face in doing so. There were three main findings. First, parents without full fluency in the HL nevertheless are able to pass the HL on to their children. Second, an important factor influencing parents' family language policies and patterns of language use were parents' attitudes towards the HL--specifically, if parents felt it was important for their children to learn the HL and if parents were willing to push their children to do so. Third, proximity to a large Vietnamese community and access to Vietnamese resources (e.g., Vietnamese language school, Vietnamese church/temple, etc.) did not assure families' involvement in the Vietnamese community or use of the available Vietnamese resources. The findings of this study reveal that though language shift is occurring in these families, parents are still trying to pass on the HL to their children despite the many challenges of raising them bilingually in the U.S.

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Date Created
2011

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Developing inclusive education policies and practices in Turkey: a study of the roles of UNESCO and local educators

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According to UNESCO's 2010 survey results of 58 member countries, 34 of the countries had less than 1 percent of children enrolled in special education programs. Ten of these countries provided special education provision for less than .01 percent of

According to UNESCO's 2010 survey results of 58 member countries, 34 of the countries had less than 1 percent of children enrolled in special education programs. Ten of these countries provided special education provision for less than .01 percent of children. However, the demand to educate students with disabilities in inclusive educational settings continues to grow. Thus, there are many national initiatives aimed at finding ways of creating forms of inclusive educational settings that can respond to children with special needs. In this study, the purpose was to better understand the processes of local adaptation and modification of UNESCO's inclusive education policies, the possible resistances to global forces in inclusive education in Turkey, and the consequences of the implications of those policies in Ankara, Turkey from local educators' views. With that goal in mind, recently adopted Turkish inclusive educational policies implemented after the Salamanca Statement in 1994 were reviewed on a selective basis. The discussion of the policy and document analysis section helped to make connections between the global inclusive education policy changes and local practices in the Turkish education system. In the second part of the study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with local educators in Ankara (teachers, administrators, and academic advisors) and policy makers from the Ministry of National Education. An analysis of the interview data highlighted the various complexities, tensions, and inadequacies in the conceptualization of inclusive education in Turkish public primary schools that study participants have observed and experienced. In light of the findings, possible reasons behind the gap between theory and practice and the discrepancies between Western and Turkish interpretations of inclusive education in Turkey are discussed. In the current inclusive education system in Turkey, the challenge of modifying deeply held attitudes at both personal and institutional levels, providing clearly constructed inclusive education policies and approaches, offering appropriate training to key stakeholders, and making adequate resources available appear to be the primary issues for moving forward with full inclusion initiatives.

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Date Created
2010