Resources, mediators, and identities: Home literacy practices of rural bilingual children
Everyday home literacy practices of bilingual students who are learning English as an Additional Language (EAL) is an under-explored topic in South Africa. In this qualitative case study, home literacy practices of these students are viewed as a resource that can enhance their literacy development, while affirming their lived experiences and validating their multi-layered identities. Framing the study within this orientation, I explored the home literacy practices of 4th grade students and their families in a rural KwaZulu-Natal community. I draw on data collected through interviews, observations, and, to a limited extent, artefacts. Findings show that the students, with the assistance of families and friends, engaged in a range of literacy and communicative practices, drawing on multiple resources from across different texts, contexts, and communication modes. This study, therefore, calls for instructional practices that build on bilingual students’ home literacy practices in order to create opportunities which support these students as active and creative meaning-makers.