Selecting high quality dual language texts for young children in multicultural contexts: A uae case

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Issues in Educational Research


© 2019, Western Australian Institute for Educational Research Inc.. All rights reserved. Bilingual literature for children is valuable in encouraging literacy in second language learners. Stories can enhance vocabulary and language abilities, learning encounters, subject content, social aptitude, and other skills in the early reader through text as well as illustrations. This paper explores issues in selecting quality dual language picture books with the aim of deepening understanding of what is meant by ‘quality’ dual language books, in terms of text quality, specifically translation accuracy, cultural relevance and book information. Four English/Arabic bilingual children books were evaluated by three raters from different backgrounds. A mixed method approach was followed to combine qualitative evaluations of these books with quantitative scores based on inter-rater reliability. Findings highlight the importance of interplay between picture and verbal text in picture books, urging educators to give more explicit attention to illustrations in any evaluation of text quality in picture books.

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