Exploring reality in two languages: Factual writing by a primary-aged bilingual child.

Year: 1999

Author: Dr Aidman, Marina A.

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports some findings from a five-year case study of bilingual literacy development (pre-school through the early and mid-primary years) in Victoria.

Factual writing by a bilingual child allowed her to explore and negotiate factual (including "uncommonsense") information using both her languages. It also assisted in the child's developing control of written registers in both her tongues. We demonstrate this by examining the child's factual texts written in the two languages during her first four years in primary school (Grades Prep.-3).

Texts on factual topics have been selected out of all her written products which have been comprehensively collected over the five year period. The study utilises systemic functional analysis of the written texts (Halliday 1994), as well as genre and register theory (Martin 1992).