CIES Presentation Langager et al.: Balancing CJK and English Literacy Objectives

With thanks to Mark Langager for sharing their abstract.

Wednesday May 4: Session 424, 13:45-15:15h, Floor C – Saint Laurent

Mark Langager, Hui Xu, and Jadong Kim, International Christian University

“Balancing CJK and English Literacy Objectives: A Case Study of East Asian Supplementary Schools in the Seattle Area”


Biliteracy has been broadly seen as being acquired by learners on a number of continua (Hornberger, 1989) between sets of two poles, including L1 versus L2 dominance, textual versus oral skills, communicative versus academic language and so forth. Until the recent work of Kondo-Brown and others (2006), however, most of the biliteracy literature has focused on that which occurs between languages with Latinate orthographies. Moreover, outcomes typically view language minorities as immigrants and thus favor analyses, findings, and conclusions based on skills in L2, generally the language of the host country and often the researcher (Langager, 2010).

Staking a more neutral spot on the continuum between ultimate L1 versus L2 literacy objectives, the current study uses interview and observation data to examine educational objectives of Chinese, Japanese and Korean communities providing L1 Saturday instruction at supplementary schools in the Seattle area. Students’ US residence ranges from short-term to long-term and thus literacy goals favor a range of priorities between L1 and L2. Initial findings suggest the three language communities all differ systematically in their literacy acquisition goals, albeit all three hold fast to both L1 and L2 objectives. Differences are identified among the three communities in the quality of governmental overseas assistance, circumstances bringing families to the US, educational career paths, and the place of entrance exams in the homeland. Accordingly, while children’s education varies considerably among individuals, separate patterns can be traced for the three communities.

2 responses to “CIES Presentation Langager et al.: Balancing CJK and English Literacy Objectives

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