Young children’s learning of literacies in transnational and sociocultural contexts in families with immigrant mothers in Taiwan

Ching-Ting Hsin

Because of presumptions of educational deficiency, little was known about the education-related resources of new-immigrant families in Taiwan (i.e. one parent is a marriage immigrant and the other is from Taiwan). This study therefore aimed to investigate the household resources and knowledge that promote literacy in these families. Four Vietnamese immigrant mothers with children aged four–six years, their husbands and their children were recruited in this ethnographic study. It was found that the children learned oral language, literacy and cultural knowledge through literacy practices in various transnational contexts, including visiting Vietnam, making telephone calls to Vietnamese relatives, listening to Vietnamese songs and stories, going to Vietnamese restaurants and stores and socialising with their mothers’ Vietnamese friends. Moreover, their literacy learning was intertwined with their engagement in parents’ jobs, hobbies and life experiences and with their learning of Vietnamese cultural values and multiple languages. The understanding of these children’s experiences provides insight into the incorporation of such resources into literacy curricula. For example, teachers could expand children’s knowledge of Vietnamese food by reading books about Vietnamese agriculture.


Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 42 Number 1 March 2017.

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