You know I forgot reading long ago: Family literacy practices in a language minority community in Uganda

Principal Investigator:
University of British Columbia

Current research on literacy practices recognizes the complementary relationship between a child's school and home literacy in the development of literacy. Such studies point to the cultural contexts in which the home literacies are situated. In this case study, I documented the home literacy practices of one family in a language minority community in southeast Uganda. The Uganda government launched a new language education policy which stipulates that local languages should be the medium of instruction in primary 1-4 in the rural areas. English was to be taught as a subject until primary five when it becomes the medium of instruction. The question I raised was: to what extent did the home literacy practices support the new language education policy in such a minority language community in Uganda? To answer this question, I conducted a case study of home literacy practices of one family from a rural language minority community in southeast Uganda. By categorizing the literacy practices according to different domains of the informant's life world, I discuss functions and the relationship it bears with school literacy and the new language education policy. The power relations due to language used in the literacy practices become apparent and therefore a factor to take account of in the implementation of the new language policy.

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