Understanding the synergies between Malaysian multilingual students' languages and literacy practices in and out-of-school: a multi-sited linguistic ethnography

Mohd Yusoff, Norina Melati (2019) Understanding the synergies between Malaysian multilingual students' languages and literacy practices in and out-of-school: a multi-sited linguistic ethnography. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The languages and literacies that students are engaged with outside their schooling spaces potentially provide both teachers and the students with valuable resources when linked with formal learning. However, these resources are continuously ignored, undervalued and consistently recast as a problem in schools. This research was conducted to understand the connections and disconnections in the languages and literacy practices of Malaysian suburban multilingual students across their school and out-of-school spaces. The study embraces theories of Multiliteracies and Translanguaging within a qualitative multi-sited linguistic ethnography research design. It was conducted continuously in two phases: three months onsite and three months online. The methods of data collection include classroom observations of the students’ English and Malay literacy lessons. Innovative ethnographic methods of data collection were also utilized, involving students in a month-long Bahasa Diary(Language Diary) project and students’ ongoing interactions in a WhatsApp group chat from the second month onward. Other supplementary data are post-classroom observation teacher interviews, photographs and some relevant school documents. The multimodal data collection relies heavily on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) resulting in a fluid and hybrid data set. ICT is central to the data management and analysis process, enabling a symbiotic relationship between the topic of the research, the researcher, the research participants’ data and the manner in which it wasanalysed and indicating a cyclical dynamic between theory, method and methodology, data and the research findings. The research suggests that Malaysian students are constantly negotiating a Multimodal Identity in their languages and literacy practices across their school and out-of-school spaces. This includes their Critical Digital Practices, Translanguaging Practices, Global-Localised (Glocal) Practicesand School-situated Practices. It also shows how these students’ multimodal voices are suppressed in the schooling spaces where literacy lessons are standards driven. On the other hand, when ‘open spaces’ are created in the Bahasa Diaries, the WhatsApp group and in some otherwise confined spaces of the school, the voices from the same students are released, heard and even empowered. The research concludes that a flexible Multiliteracies-Translanguaging approach to English language and literacy pedagogy that embraces the students’ Multimodal Identity would facilitate meaningful learning in a multilingual setting.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0831 Social change > HM0836 Causes > HM0846 Technological innovations. Technology > HM0851 Information technology. Information society. Including the Internet as an instrument of social change, and including the digital divide
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0040 Relation to sociology. Sociolinguistics > P0040.5.A-Z Special aspects, A-Z > P0040.5.T44 Teenagers
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2019 09:22
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2021 08:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82535

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