Edited by Youngjoo Yi and Alan Hirvela
[Journal of Asian Pacific Communication 19:1] 2009
► pp. 7–29
In this paper, we report the findings of our qualitative inquiry conducted with two male and two female sojourner students in their early teens living in the United States. Sojourner students, an under-researched population in literacy studies, refers to expatriate children who reside and study abroad for a number of years because of their parents’ jobs and who anticipate eventual return to their home country. Our participants were Japanese sojourner students. Drawing on multiple sources of data, including the students’ literacy logs that documented their reading and writing activities in Japanese and English, interview transcripts, and literacy artifacts, we investigated what kind of literacy practices they engaged in outside school and what developing bilingual and biliterate competences meant to them as individuals. Our findings indicate that (a) although the four students spent much time on academic literacy in Japanese and English outside school, they also had active literate lives of their own; and (b) gender affected not only how they perceived their competencies in the two languages but also how they allocated their time outside school to engage in literacy practices in each language. While there is little investigation of this student population from the perspective of gender, we suggest that it is an important issue to take into account in future research.
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