Learning to Read and Write in the Multilingual Family

Author: Xiao-lei Wang

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
225mm x 170mm

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This book is a guide for parents who wish to raise children with more than one language and literacy. Drawing on interdisciplinary research, as well as the experiences of parents of multilingual children, this book walks parents through the multilingual reading and writing process from infancy to adolescence. It identifies essential literacy skills at each developmental stage and proposes effective strategies that facilitate multiliteracy, in particular, heritage-language literacy development in the home environment. This book can also be used as a reference for teachers who teach in community heritage language schools and in school heritage (or foreign) language programmes.

How do I teach my child to read and write in our minority languages? Most parents raising multilingual children find themselves asking this question at one point or another. Here is a book chock full with practical advice to help us on this quest! The book offers a wide palette of strategies, ideas, practical activities, reading lists, and real-life examples of how other families did it. The ultimate aim is to help parents develop and implement a literacy plan that meets the needs of their personal multilingual situation. The author covers all ages, from infancy to early and middle childhood to adolescence. In short: there is something in there for everyone!

Dr. Wang has taken us on a wondrous journey into the challenges and rewards of developing literacy in reading and writing in more than one language. With her prolific research and international network, Dr. Wang has demonstrated how children can become multi-literate and expand their capabilities and understanding of the world. Intended to encourage and support multi-lingual families, whose children are growing up in non-heritage language environments, this book reaches beyond heritage speakers. Dr. Wang has written a book to be read by all those who want to take that exciting leap to develop proficiency not only in speaking, but in reading and writing in more than one language.

This excellent book draws on the latest research to explain how multilingual literacy learning can be fostered at different ages from early childhood to adolescence. Parents will discover how to work together with their child to devise a range of creative activities that bring literacy alive through games, roleplay, literature and multimedia. The author shows that literacy development in more than one language is intellectually challenging and expands children's cultural knowledge, thus enhancing their learning. Real-life examples from families around the world stimulate the reader's thinking throughout.

Xiao-lei Wang is Professor and Acting Dean of the School of Education at Pace University, USA. She is the author of Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven (Multilingual Matters, 2008) and Learning to Read and Write in the Multilingual Family (Multilingual Matters, 2011). She is a regular speaker on child development and parenting at local, national and international parents' associations and academic conferences.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Understanding the Multilingual Reading and Writing Process

Chapter 3: The Importance of Active Planning

Chapter 4: Infancy and Early Childhood (Birth–5 Years)

Chapter 5: Middle Childhood (6 -11 Years)

Chapter 6: Adolescence (12 -18 Years)

Chapter 7: Parents' Practices, Voices, and Concluding Remarks

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