Xiaoxiao Du

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Suzanne Majhanovich


The demographic context of Canada, a multicultural and multilingual country, provides an exciting research site for the investigation of immigrant children’s bilingual literacy practices. According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada 2006, the People's Republic of China has been the top source country of immigrants to Canada, and Mandarin has been reported as the top minority language since 1998. It is worthwhile to explore the bilingual literacy practices of young Chinese immigrant children in Ontario, where fifty percent of immigrants have chosen to settle.

This research project consisted of a qualitative case study. Semi-structured interviews and classroom observations were employed as the main tools of data collection. Family visits were made, and artwork and documents were also collected as supplementary sources of data. Interpretational and domain analysis methods were used to analyze the data (Gall, Gall & Borg, 2007; Wolcott, 1994).

Findings of the study indicate that there is a complementary learning community, including a formal public school education, supportive community language school and home literacy environments facilitating the five participating children's bilingual literacy developiftent. The public school culture, parents' perceptions and support of their children's bilingual literacy development, as well as the community Chinese language school have all influenced the five participating children's biliteracy development. Based on the findings, this study makes suggestions for teachers, parents and curriculum designers. Public schools should create democratic school cultures where minority children's culture and first languages are valued and embraced. Teachers should apply effective literacy instruction to help minority children's bilingual literacy development in an authentic literacy environment. Curriculum designers should pay attention to English language learners’ cultural backgrounds and meet diverse teachers' and children's needs.



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