A Literacy Project with community members: Designing translanguaging storybooks for a multilingual community

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to establish a community-based literacy project that would design translingual storybooks accessible to all children and community members in terms of language, contextual relevance, and age appropriateness for a rural community in the Eastern Cape. Although multiple studies have been done worldwide, more research was needed on the impact community members thought it could have in South African society. This study's theoretical framework was drawn from Cen Williams's (1980) translanguaging. Williams (1980) viewed translanguaging as receiving information in one language (input) and relaying it in another language (output) to expand the competency of the two languages as well as ensure that deeper learning takes place (Wright & Baker, 2017). Translanguaging has evolved throughout the centuries. García and Wei (2014) describe it as a single repertoire that is being used since students integrate their languages and create a new language that they use to function in the world. A qualitative approach was used to answer the research question: "How can a translingual pedagogy enhance communicative repertories in designing community translingual storybooks?" A CPAR design was used to answer the research questions. Through workshops, focus groups, storyboards, and draw-and-talk, the researcher aimed to discover how a translingual pedagogy could enhance communicative repertoires by designing translingual storybooks. Lincoln and Guba's (1985) model of trustworthiness was used to guarantee trustworthiness by concentrating on credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, and reflexivity. Three main themes materialised from the data: using the mother tongue, isiXhosa, foundation to improve additional languages, interactive and structure-based strategies, and assets and drawbacks while creating resources with community members. The findings of this study indicated that multiple community members sometimes used their mother tongue to aid in the development of understanding additional languages, English and Afrikaans. They needed to learn the crucial roles they played in students' language development since they were the ones that could make those vital connections. The research participants needed an idea of the methods that could be used to design their translingual storybooks. They indicated that they wanted to work with other community members and wanted steps to follow to design these storybooks. The researcher had to present them with ideas of methods that fit their needs. The researcher knew that every study has assets and drawbacks depending on their view, the study's iii aims and goals, and the research question. It was found that the assets outweighed the drawbacks since the participants were an eager group of individuals. The research participants in this study come with a wide variety of knowledge about the needs of their community based on their experiences. They all have different job descriptions, but what brings them together is their desire to improve the community reading resources to improve their linguistic knowledge. The research participants designed the translingual storybooks at home and shared the data via WhatsApp.Thesis (MEd) -- Faculty of Education, School for initial Teacher Education, 202

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This paper was published in Nelson Mandela University.

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