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Title:Korean emergent bilingual students’ language use and translanguaging
Author(s):Lee, Chaehyun
Director of Research:García, Georgia Earnest
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):García, Georgia Earnest
Doctoral Committee Member(s):McCarthey, Sarah Jane; Bauer, Eurydice; Dávila, Liv Thorstensson
Department / Program:Curriculum and Instruction
Discipline:Curriculum and Instruction
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):emergent bilinguals
heritage language
Korean students
bilingual/biliteracy development
heritage language loss/shift
heritage language school
discourse analysis
Abstract:Researchers in the bilingual/biliteracy fields have investigated how emergent bilinguals developed their English language and literacy skills (e.g., Francis, Lesaux, & August, 2006), but very little attention has been given to students' language and literacy development in their heritage language (HL) (August & Shanahan, 2010; Goldenberg, 2011; Shanahan & Beck, 2006). Several researchers reported that when emergent bilingual children attended U.S. classrooms taught only in English, the children often lost or did not continue to develop their HL (Hinton, 2008; Ro & Cheatham, 2009; Shin, 2005; Tse, 2001; Wong-Fillmore, 1991). Although much of the HL shift/loss research has occurred with Latinx students (Gandara & Hopkins, 2003; Suarez-Orozco & Suarez-Orozco, 2001), this phenomenon has also occurred with Korean emergent bilinguals in the U.S. (Chung, 2008; Shin, 2005). Previously, much of the language loss/shift research with emergent bilingual children was conducted from a monoglossic perspective, and researchers who embraced monoglossic ideology often considered their use of two separate languages as deficient behavior (Bailey, 2007). Recently, researchers conducted studies that rejected the monoglossic ideology, using instead a heteroglossic perspective to examine bilinguals’ translanguaging practices when they utilized their full language resources from their two languages (e.g., Bauer, Presiado, & Colomer, 2017; García & Godina, 2017; Palmer, Martínez, Mateus, & Henderson, 2014). However, because most of the translanguaging research has dealt with the Spanish bilingual group, we have little understanding of how emergent bilingual children from other language minority groups in the U.S. (such as Korean-English bilinguals) develop and use their oral and written languages. The number of Korean immigrants to the U.S. has grown rapidly since the Immigration Act of 1965 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016), and many Korean parents financially support HL schools for their children’s HL learning and development (Shin & Krashen, 1998). However, the extent to which Korean emergent bilinguals in the U.S. develop and use their oral and written Korean when they attend Korean HL schools is a question that has not received much attention in the bilingual/biliteracy research to date. To add to what is known about the role of the emergent bilingual students’ HL in their bilingual development and performance, the present study investigates the bilingual (Korean – English) language performance of Korean emergent bilingual children (1st and 3rd grade) who attended a Korean HL school on Saturdays. This study addresses the following research questions: What characterized the Korean bilingual first and third graders’ oral and written use of Korean and English at a Heritage Korean Language School? How did the focal Korean bilingual third graders’ oral and written language use compare to their earlier use as first graders? What were the socio-cultural influences on the focal Korean bilingual first and third graders’ language use? The findings can help to fill the gaps in the field of bilingual/biliteracy research by examining non-Latinx bilingual students’ (i.e. Korean) language use and practice from a heteroglossic perspective in instructional settings other than dual language classrooms (e.g. HL classroom). Qualitative discourse analysis and case study methods from a constructivist/interpretive paradigm were used to collect and analyze data (i.e. audio-recordings of classroom interactions, writing samples, and semi-structured interviews) during the Spring 2016 semester. The findings showed that the three first-grade English proficient students used more English than Korean and engaged in translanguaging when they spoke and wrote, although their translanguaging in writing was much less than in their spoken language. On the other hand, the three third-grade English proficient students spoke more Korean than English and composed mostly in Korean, They engaged in some translanguaging while speaking and writing, although it was much less than the first-graders. Meanwhile, the Korean proficient student in both grades predominantly used Korean when they spoke and wrote and rarely used English or translanguaging. In terms of the English proficient students’ use of translanguaging, different functions were discovered in both the first- and third-graders’ oral and written language use. Their implementation of translanguaging served various functions by demonstrating their sociolinguistic knowledge, metalinguistic awareness, metacognitive insight, and sociocultural understanding. Close analysis of the focal third-graders’ longitudinal language use revealed that they continued to employ their HL and had improved their Korean proficiency and literacy skills between first- and third-grade thanks to their parents’ practices at home. These findings provide directions for future research and implications for educators and parents of emergent bilingual students, which should help them to better support bilingual children’s language and literacy learning.
Issue Date:2018-04-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Chaehyun Lee
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-04
Date Deposited:2018-05

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