Family Literacy and Second Language Literacy Research: Focus on Language Minority Children

Öz Problem Statement: Countries like the U. S. A. or Canada have citizens from various ethnic backgrounds. Although English is the dominant language in many parts of these countries, immigrants generally prefer speaking their native language when they are in their homes. Whatever the reason for using native language at home is, when we consider the children in these families, we can say that being exposed to different languages at home and at school may be a problem for their language development.Purpose of Study: There are many studies conducted in order to better understand the problems of language minority children. A great deal of literature on language minority students focuses on the ties between these children‟s literacy development and their literacy practices at home. In other words, these studies aim to see how the literacy events these children are exposed to at home affect their literacy learning in the second language.Methods: This paper is an attempt to put together and discuss various theoretical and empirical studies conducted on the literacy development of language minority children in English speaking countries.Findings: Literacy education of language minority students is not an easy task. It is very complicated and difficult to achieve as it requires a complete collaboration among all the responsible parties (teachers, families, researchers, education policy makers, school administrators).Conclusion and Recommendations: Successful collaboration among all the involved parties would bring successful outcomes in terms of children‟s healthy literacy development. The collaboration between teachers and families is the most vital one because these two parties are the ones that have one-to-one interaction with children.

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