Stavans Anat. 2012. Language policy and literacy practices in the family: the case of Ethiopian parental narrative input. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.
The present study analyses the Family Language Policy (FLP) in regards language literacy development of children in Ethiopian immigrant families. Bridging the gap between linguistic literacy at home and at school hinders a smooth societal integration and a normative literacy development. This study describes the home literacy patterns shaped by internal and external forces in parent-child interaction among 60 Ethiopian families in Israel. Participants performed four extended discourse tasks. The findings indicate that these parents have preferences for certain extended discourses, and that the form and function of these preferred discourses coincide with those needed for better scholastic literacy. Ethiopian parents prefer oral not written discourse as the anchor for their literacy-driven parent-child interaction. They resort to descriptions and folk narratives coinciding with expected vocabulary use and the cannons of narrative syntax in their native language. The need for the institutionalised language education policy to make the ‘cultural and linguistic affordances’ for these families’ language policy requires mutual respect and interaction between the two literacy traditions. Legitimacy of the FLP can enhance both child’s and parent’s confidence and well-being contributing greatly to literacy enhancement and development.
Westheimer, Miriam (2003). Parents making a difference: International research on the Home Innstruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) Program. New Vistas in Education and Society Series (4th volume). Jerusalem: Magness.