Early letter writing: Constructing bilingual and bi-cultural identity

Year: 1998

Author: Aidman, Marina A.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Letter writing can be an important and effective means of children's written language development. Our study supports this argument made by Collerson (1983) and Robinson, et al. (1992) who analysed children's English mother tongue letter writing. In children of a LOTE background, writing letters in their home language acquires a particular significance, as a means of promoting their minority language competence as well as shaping their bilingual and bi-cultural identity (Taft, 1981; Norton, 1998). Our study demonstrates that this is so by examining a bilingual child's letters in her home language written over the first four years of primary schooling. Systemic Functional Grammar (Halliday, 1994) has been used for a detailed linguistic analysis.