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Home literacy and agency : an ethnographic approach to studying the home literacy practices of six multiliterate children in Qatar.

Savage-Shepherd, Misti (2012) Home literacy and agency : an ethnographic approach to studying the home literacy practices of six multiliterate children in Qatar. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This study investigated the home literacy practices of six children, aged 5-7 years, who are learning three or more languages and live in Qatar, in a middle-to-upper-middle class context. In particular, the study examined their biliteracy development and explored identity and agency issues. A particular interest was their use of media, technology and popular culture at home. This study draws on theoretical perspectives offered by the New Literacy Studies, and the fields of semiotics and multimodalities as well as studies in literacy and popular culture. Mediation, a key concept in the study, is defined as the process of how social, cultural and historical factors are influenced by and on an individual. As a result of mediation, there is a production of tools, or objects and artifacts, one of which may be language. The investigation employed a multiple case-study design with an ethnographic perspective orientation through having the participants involved as co-researchers, The six participants and their families were recruited from an international school in Qatar and represented a range of cultural backgrounds. Data were generated through observations, literacy journals, semi- structured interviews and participants' digital photographs. The analysis of the data employed a grounded-theory approach and was used to analyse the interviews of the participants and their parents as well as their digital photographs. The findings suggest that media, technology and popular culture are widely used and generate enthusiasm and interest in literacy. Additionally, children as young as five years old are aware of their different writing systems and are participating in distributed communicative practices with new technologies. Finally, agency, identity and mediation are important notions since children are active agents in their literacy learning.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.575469
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2016 12:47
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2016 12:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15010

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