The Challenges and Successes of Developing a Literacy Community in a Minority Language in Western Canada: An Action Research Study

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Abstract

ABSTRACT: This article describes a community action research study in the spirit of Carr and Kemmis (1983) and Elliot (1991). Language leaders in the Ukrainian community undertook a complex literacy initiative to investigate and improve Ukrainian-English bilingualism/biliteracy in Western Canada and throughout the diaspora. In the context of the long-term absence of research funding for developing and maintaining literacy in nonmajority or nonofficial languages, this article documents project activities over several years, presents the findings of student/teacher needs assessments, shares the approach to reading preferred by participating teachers, and reveals some of the transformations teachers experienced in their own thinking about bilingualism and biliteracy as a result of their involvement in this initiative.

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