This ethnographic inquiry examines how five young (ages 6 – 8) Chinese children constructed their identities through multilingual, multiliteracy, and multicultural practices. The children attended French Immersion programs in the Richmond school district, British Columbia (B.C.), Canada. A variety of qualitative methodologies was used to document children’s literacy practices and their emerging identities. Semi-structured interviews and field observations were conducted at home, in school and in the community from April 2008 to February 2009. The goal of using these methodologies was to document children’s multi-linguistic biographies (e.g., choice of languages and communicative practices), multiliteracy practices (e.g., the kinds of academic and cultural activities that children engaged in both in and outside of the home), and social relations (e.g., family and peer relations and their emerging identities). The findings from interviews, field observations, and artifacts produced by children were analyzed within the context of current sociolinguistic views of language and identities. The data highlighted that identities among young French Immersion Chinese children is dynamic, complex, and contextualized. The data also offered a perspective on children’s multilingual, multiliteracy, and multicultural practices at home, in school, and in the local community. The results will be of interest to parents, teachers, school policy-makers, and scholars, as they shed light on many aspects of multilingual and multicultural students’ lives in French Immersion in the Greater Vancouver area.
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