Making space for learners' languages

6.3. Bilingual Books - Biliterate Children

Sneddon, R. (2009)

The focus of this research was on children learning to be literate in the heritage language their families speak at home. It looked at children learning to read using dual language books and the transference of concepts and skills between languages. A key question was whether close reading of two texts simultaneously has an impact on children’s understanding of how language works and on their comprehension of a text. The research considers issues of personal identity and the importance for children of finding their own cultures and languages reflected in the materials available in school. It recognises the value of children making their own books based on personal experience and their own voice. It considers issues in the translation of children’s literature regarding audience, purpose and culture. This approach enables children to hypothesise about language and reveals what they understand about the relationship between languages. Both bilingual and monolingual children can explore dual language resources and make inferences about how language works.

This site aims to promote the use of dual language books and other language materials to meet the needs of pupils, parents and teachers: