Multiliteracy development as identity work

3rd May 2022 : 13:00 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Applied Linguistics

Speaker: Dr Sabine Little (University of Sheffield)

Location: Online only (Teams)

Convener: Faidra Faitaki

Audience: Public

Join the event on the day, via Teams link

Children who grow up multilingual may or may not develop into multilingual readers, for a number of reasons: lack of opportunity, lack of resources, lack of time, lack of support system, etc. This talk draws on numerous research studies to explore how multilingual children experience their journey towards multiliteracy. We will explore both historical and current developments that can contribute to, and hinder, multiliteracy development, including the role of families, schools, and libraries. The talk will highlight the “River of Reading” methodology, which serves as a tool to help children chart their multiliteracy development, and illustrate how multilingual children’s “Rivers of Reading” differ from their monolingual peers. Throughout the talk, links between literacy development and identity will help us reflect on how multilingual children experience their surroundings, and how they internalise these, as part of their multilingual selves.

About the Speaker

Dr Sabine Little is a Senior Lecturer in Languages Education at the University of Sheffield. Her work focuses primarily on the links between multilingualism, identity, and belonging, with research situated in families, schools, and public spaces such as libraries, to explore children’s multilingual childhoods holistically and within context. Her work on Sheffield’s multilingual children’s library won the International Brenda Eastwood Award for Diversity and Inclusion, and her Lost Wor(l)ds project aims to support teachers in giving multilingual children the opportunity to learn whilst making use of their full linguistic repertoire.