“English literature doesn’t only have to be about English words”: multilingual immigrant and refugee young adults interpret literature using reader response and critical literacy

Date created: 
2013-07-31
Identifier: 
etd7934
Keywords: 
Reader response theory
Critical literacy
Multilingualism
Immigrant and refugee youth
Canadian literature
Abstract: 

This research documents multilingual immigrant and refugee young adults’ engagement with literary works by Canadian authors who are immigrants, refugees and people of colour. I facilitated workshops in which eight participants interpreted poetry and short stories using reader response theory, critical literacy and theories engaging difference and power, e.g., coalition politics theory and critical race theory. Interweaving the participants’ insights with the theoretical framework, I discuss the conditions that supported their meaningful engagement with literature. Key findings include 1) Reader response pedagogies that encourage intertextual analysis and collaborative meaning-making can create space for multiliteracies and experiential knowledge to be validated as legitimate interpretive practices; 2) Critical literacy and theories of difference are essential for creating “safe” spaces in which different interpretations may inform one another; 3) Immigrants and refugees mobilize their multiple languages and identities as critical lenses for challenging exclusionary discourses in English-medium educational settings and Canadian literary criticism.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
Copyright remains with the author. The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
Dolores van der Wey
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
Statistics: