Document Type

Journal Article


Literacy in the home is often judged as an inferior version of school literacy. In multilingual contexts, family literacy practices tend to be characterised as traditional and more reliant on oral than literate practices, with the children being seen as disadvantaged by the lack of parental literacy support. This paper argues that literacy practices in multilingual contexts are in fact dynamic and undergoing rapid development in response to technological and cultural change. This study, which examines the literacy practices of four teenagers and their families, was part of a six-year ethnographic study with Arabic-speaking families in Sydney. The data indicate that teenagers are taking an active role in a shift to technology-mediated literacy and in the mediation of both Arabic and English literacy. The implications of this for schooling are discussed.