Promoting the Academic Literacy Development of Generation 1.5 English Language Learners: A Pro-Active Agenda

Investigator:

Funding Program:

SSHRC Insight Development Grant

Funding Amount:

$57,715

This project focuses on the academic literacy development of children who are born and/or begin their formal schooling in Canada but who are raised in homes where the societally dominant language is not the primary language used in the home.  This project will build on the findings of a preliminary study and will explore a pedagogical response to the cognitive-academic dilemmas faced by this student demographic, who may appear at first glance to be bilingual, but for whom English may be the only language of cognitive engagement involving reading and writing. Combining both qualitative and quantitative methods, the goals of the project are to: (a) augment children’s sensitivity to learning through direct exposure to fields of experience, (b) to develop in the children cognitive prerequisites for academic learning and problems solving, (c) provide professional educators with experience in designing and implementing pedagogical responses and strategies that can provide relevant academic support to this student demographic. Overall, this project will explore how education processes might mediate the academic problem-solving practices of Canadian-born language minority students.