Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

Shared Reading in Children’s Heritage Language Development: Case Studies of Three Chinese-American Families
Dr. Ya-Ning Hsu

The current study explores at-home co-reading practices in three families where the children’s heritage language is Mandarin Chinese. Existing research on reading time, with adults reading to children, mostly focuses on monolingual children or school settings. However, little is known about at-home reading practices in heritage languages among bilingual children. This longitudinal mixed-method study collected data from reports of reading time and routines in each family and observations of each learning environment. The study found that read-aloud time decreases as children grow up due to hegemonic forces from mainstream English education. In addition, bilingual children require more support in heritage language reading since heritage language acquisition is usually their weaker language. Finally, the study calls for creating space and providing additional support for bilingual children’s heritage language maintenance.

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