Arabic-English bilingual children’s early home literacy environments and parental language policies
Source of Publication
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal
The paper describes the role parental language ideology and the home literacy environment play in heritage language (HL) literacy learning of bilingual Arabic-English-speaking children in the UK. Information about the under-reported literacy practices of Arabic-English-speaking families will enhance current knowledge about HL literacy practices within the home. Data were collected over a period of 12 months in the form of language background surveys, audio recordings of activities within the home and parental interviews. The analysis of data suggests that parents’ HL ideologies are the impetus for language practices that develop children’s literacy skills in Arabic and the motivation to create a literacy environment within the home. The families made small libraries, invested (much) time in learning the unique skills needed to master an additional orthographic system and sent their children to Arabic weekend schools. The most significant factor, however, in determining HL literacy development was mothers’ HL proficiency. The main challenges were the diglossic nature of Arabic and difficulty in locating and affording Arabic literacy material that ensure systematic development of HL literacy skills.
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Arabic language, Family language policy, heritage language, home literacy environment, language ideology, language maintenance
Said, Fatma F.S., "Arabic-English bilingual children’s early home literacy environments and parental language policies" (2021). All Works. 4288.
Indexed in Scopus