Matching Items (4)

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Language and literacy practices of Kurdish children across their home and school spaces in Turkey: an ethnography of language policy

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ABSTRACT

This study examines the language and literacy experiences of Kurdish minority children during their first year of mainstream schooling in a southeastern village in Turkey. I employed ethnographic research

ABSTRACT

This study examines the language and literacy experiences of Kurdish minority children during their first year of mainstream schooling in a southeastern village in Turkey. I employed ethnographic research methods (participant observation, multi-modal data collection, interviewing, and focus groups) to investigate the language practices of the children in relation to language ideologies circulating in the wider context. I focused on the perspectives and practices of one 1st grade classroom (14 students) but also talked with seven parents, three teachers, and two administrators.

A careful analysis of the data collected shows that there is a hierarchy among languages used in the community—Turkish, English, and Kurdish. The children, their parents, and their teachers all valued Turkish and English more than Kurdish. While explaining some of their reasons for this view, they discussed the status and functions of each language in society with an emphasis on their functions. My analysis also shows that, although participants devalue the Kurdish language, they still value Kurdish as a tie to their ethnic roots. Another key finding of this study is that policies that appear in teachers’ practices and the school environment seemed to be robust mediators of the language beliefs and practices of the Kurds who participated in my study. School is believed to provide opportunities for learning languages in ways that facilitate greater participation in society and increased access to prestigious jobs for Kurdish children who do not want to live in the village long-term. Related to that, one finding demonstrates that current circumstances make language choice like a life choice for Kurdish children. While Kurds who choose Turkish are often successful in school (and therefore have access to better jobs), the ones who maintain their Kurdish usually have only animal breeding or farming as employment options. I also found that although the Kurdish children that I observed subscribed to ideologies that valued Turkish and English over their native language, they did not entirely abandon their Kurdish language. Instead, they were involved in Turkish- Kurdish bilingual practices such as language broking, language sharing, and language crossing.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Government, God and Family: A Multi-Modal Analysis of Stories and Storytelling in an Online Social Movement

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This study explores the online recruitment and mobilization of followers in a social movement. In this study, I identify and analyze how certain narratives were produced, distributed and recirculated online

This study explores the online recruitment and mobilization of followers in a social movement. In this study, I identify and analyze how certain narratives were produced, distributed and recirculated online by a social movement organization that depicted players in the movement in ways that engaged followers in actions of advocacy and support. Also, I examine how particular narratives were taken up, negotiated, amplified, and distributed by online supporters who eventually become co-tellers of the narrative and ultimately advocates on behalf of the social movement. By examining a selection of media statements, open letters, protest speeches, blogs, videos and pictures, I show how online practices might contribute to inspiring and mobilizing action or responses from a large number of followers. Data include selected excerpts from an online social movement that began in Norway in 2015 and later gathered momentum and strength outside of Norway and Europe. This multi-modal analysis of digital practices demonstrates how collaboratively produced narratives (e.g., of suffering, sorrow, persecution or resilience) emerge and gain traction in the digital space, the relationship between the temporal and spatial dimensions of narrative, and the role of collective memory in building a sense of community and shared identity. Demonstrating the dialogic and interactional dimensions of meaning-making processes, this case study informs how we might theorize and understand the role of identity and narrative in the emergence and amplification of social movements.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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A study of multilingual repertoires and accumulated literacies: three Karenni families living in Arizona

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This empirical study aims to identify and analyze the accumulated literacies and multilingual repertoires of three Karenni refugee families originally from the highlands of Burma but who had lived in

This empirical study aims to identify and analyze the accumulated literacies and multilingual repertoires of three Karenni refugee families originally from the highlands of Burma but who had lived in refugee camps in Thailand before arriving in Phoenix, Arizona. Through participant observation in the families' households and neighborhood, artifact collection, and individual and group interviews, I observe, document, and examine the everyday literacy practices of these three families in order to understand how these literacies are used to foster new understandings and social networks while maintaining transnational connections. The data analysis demonstrates that there are similarities and differences between the literacy practices and language choices of the sixteen individuals who participated and that there are significant differences across generations as well as across the three families. The findings shed light on the complicated relationship between migration and language learning, ideologies of language, literacy practices, and various modes of communication (face-to-face and digital). Building on a long tradition of ethnographic work that examines language learning and literacy in relation to educational access and opportunity, this research is relevant to educational researchers, policy makers, and teachers who are committed to rethinking what counts as literacy, for whom, in what contexts, and with what kinds of consequences. In a time of increased movement of people across borders, and increased use of information and communication technologies, this investigation has important implications for teacher preparation, theories of language learning and literacy development, and educational research.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Bridging divides through technology use: transnationalism and digital literacy socialization

Description

In this study, I investigate the digital literacy practices of adult immigrants, and their relationship with transnational processes and practices. Specifically, I focus on their conditions of access to

In this study, I investigate the digital literacy practices of adult immigrants, and their relationship with transnational processes and practices. Specifically, I focus on their conditions of access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in their life trajectories, their conditions of learning in a community center, and their appropriation of digital literacy practices for transnational purposes. By studying the culturally situated nature of digital literacies of adult learners with transnational affiliations, I build on recent empirical work in the fields of New Literacy Studies, sociocultural approaches to learning, and transnational studies. In this qualitative study, I utilized ethnographic techniques for data collection, including participant observation, interviewing, and collection of material and electronic artifacts. I drew from case study approaches to analyze and present the experiences of five adult first-generation immigrant participants. I also negotiated multiple positionalities during the two phases of the study: as a participant observer and instructor's aide during the Basic Computer Skills course participants attended, and as a researcher-practitioner in the Web Design course that followed. From these multiple vantage points, my analysis demonstrates that participants' access to ICTs is shaped by structural factors, family dynamics, and individuals' constructions of the value of digital literacies. These factors influence participants' conditions of access to material resources, such as computer equipment, and access to mentoring opportunities with members of their social networks. In addition, my analysis of the instructional practices in the classroom shows that instructors used multiple modalities, multiple languages and specialized discourses to scaffold participants' understandings of digital spaces and interfaces. Lastly, in my analysis of participants' repertoires of digital literacy practices, I found that their engagement in technology use for purposes of communication, learning, political participation and online publishing supported their maintenance of transnational affiliations. Conversely, participants' transnational ties and resources supported their appropriation of digital literacies in everyday practice. This study concludes with a discussion on the relationship among learning, digital literacies and transnationalism, and the contributions of critical and ethnographic perspectives to the study of programs that can bridge digital inequality for minority groups.

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Date Created
  • 2011