Family Literacy for Language Minority Families: Issues for Program Implementation.
Mulhern, Margaret Rodriguez-Brown, Flora V. Shanahan, Timothy
National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, Washington, DC.
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Successful approaches to family literacy for language minority parents and their children are described. Successful programs address parents' personal goals, value families' home languages, view families from a resource model rather than from a deficit model, provide families access to information and resources that encourage success for their children, and encourage shared literacy in homes. One project that shares these goals is Project FLAME, a program that provides literacy training and support for limited English proficient Latino parents. The project includes two integrated components, "Parents as Teachers" sessions and "Parents as Learners" sessions. Several key features that distinguish Project FLAME from other literacy programs for language minority families are examined. The dramatic learning gains apparent for FLAME children can be unambiguously attributed to parent action. Project FLAME and other programs for language minority families are used as examples to provide a framework for answering some practical questions concerning the successful development and operation of a family literacy program. The questions cover such topics as where and when classes should take place, curriculum design, languages used for instruction, attendance, and program assessment. A list of references is given. Appendix A provides a model lesson plan from Project FLAME. The names, addresses and phone numbers of resource organizations are listed. (mf)