Television, language, and literacy practices in sudanese refugee families: "I learned how to spell English on channel 18"

Kristen H. Perry, Annie M. Moses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

This ethnographic study explored the ways in which media, particularly television, connected with English language and literacy practices among Sudanese refugees in Michigan. Three families with young children participated in this study. Data collection included participant observation, interviews, and collection of artifacts over 18 months, with a focus on television events as the units of analysis. Data analysis focused on television practices connected with literacy practices for adults and children. Results indicated that television offered important cultural connections with participants' beliefs, values, and attitudes regarding their Sudanese heritage, the new U.S. context, and religious practices. Both adults and children believed television was an important resource for learning and recognized potential problems with too much viewing. Most significantly, analysis suggested important connections between television practices and the development of both English language abilities for all family members and the development of real-world literacy practices, especially for the children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-307
Number of pages30
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Volume45
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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