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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Snapshots : three children, three families - literacy at home, in the community and at school Frett, Marsha Diana


The purpose of this study was to document the literacy practices of three 5-7 year old boys who were in the formative stage of formal schooling. The study took place in the British Virgin Islands, a group of 60 or so islands, cays, and islets located in the Caribbean. I examined these boys’ literacy practices in three contexts — home, community and school. Through observations, interviews and samplings of conversations at home, I found that school literacy dominated all three contexts and was used similarly in all three contexts. Additionally, parents were consciously reinforcing school literacy in the home. The three boys were reading, writing, speaking and listening at their expected grade level and appeared to be steadily progressing. Religion appeared to play an important role in supporting the children’s literacy development, consistent with the country’s Christian heritage. As previous research in other contexts (e.g., Marsh, 2003) has shown, home and community literacy practices remain largely unrecognized and untapped at school.

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