McGonigal and Arizpe (2007) Learning to read a new culture: How immigrant and asylum seeking children experience Scottish identity through classroom books
This substantial and fascinating study by McGonigal and Arizpe (2007) highlights the important role that books play for many migrant children in Scotland. The books are significant in both terms of the use of the English language and the cultural world they reveal and explain. Such books, in some cases including images of life in Scotland as well as text, are embedded within a linguistic, cultural and political context that is distinct from an English context (some migrant children may have arrived to England during the first phase of migration). The report explores questions of identity, looking at how migrant children deal with multiple literacies during their cultural transition and questions whether or not contents (images and language) impose or remove barriers to transition. The study also accounts for the ways in which local children respond to portrayals of Scottish culture. The report draws attention to the challenges faced by some migrant pupils who are learning standard English in the classroom, while, simultaneously, negotiating the playground environment characterised by colloquial speech and unfamiliar accents.
McGonigal, J. and Arizpe, E. (2007) Learning to read a new culture: how immigrant and asylum seeking children experience Scottish identity through classroom books. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.