Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Multimodal Biliteracy in the Arizona-Sonora Borderland
by Fierro, Ana V., Ed.D., The University of Arizona, 2018, 110; 10811178
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study explored multimodal biliteracy found in the Arizona-Sonora borderland, a region thriving with linguistic and cultural diversity despite having an English-only policy. According to Reyes (2012) biliteracy is to think, speak, read, and write in two or more languages, and there are various modes for reading and writing in the 21st century (Reyes, Acosta, Fierro, Fu, & Zapien, 2017). This dissertation focused on Spanish and English bilinguals. First, I present a literature review (Appendix A) informed by a sociocultural framework (Vygotsky, 1978) for understanding biliteracy as a social practice and valuing language as a resource (Ruiz, 1987). Funds of knowledge (González, Moll, Amanti, 2005; Moll, González, Amanti, & Neff, 1994) is an important component in framing this qualitative study and applying methods informing an inclusive pedagogy for bilinguals. Subsequently, I go over the photographs and multimodal composition presented in two case studies of Spanish and English bilinguals. The first case study (Appendix B) documents biliteracy in the household and local community of bilinguals through photography. It contributes to previous research by Reyes, DaSilva Iddings, and Feller (2016) and the two themes from their analysis: 1) Expanding definitions of language and literacy and 2) Deepening the understanding of funds of knowledge. The second case study (Appendix C) examines how bilinguals critically and creatively expressed their Spanish and English in a multimodal composition. Thinking critically about literacy meant reflecting on their everyday reading and writing practices as bilinguals, while being creative meant thinking about the various modes of reading and writing in two languages. This moves literacy beyond a monolingual and monomodal practice into one that cultivates diversity for equity in education for bilinguals. I seek an empowering pedagogy for bilinguals by valuing and making space for linguistic and cultural diversity in the classroom. Biliteracy is a valuable contribution to class and the learning process of students with more than one language. The primary purpose of this dissertation, like funds of knowledge, was to develop critical innovations in teaching (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & González, 1992) biliteracy for the 21st century. Findings from the photographs, multimodal compositions, written reflections, and retrospective interviews demonstrate how Spanish and English biliteracy is practiced in various modes (e.g. music, dancing, singing, traditional family recipes, and religious/spiritual altars) in the Arizona-Sonora borderland.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reyes, Iliana
Commitee: Brochin, Carol, Durán, Leah
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Language, Reading & Culture
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Bilingual education, Teacher education
Keywords: Arizona, Bilingualism, Biliteracy, Borderland, Funds of knowledge, Multimodal
Publication Number: 10811178
ISBN: 9780438015210
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