James Paul Gee defines Discourse as how we talk, act, and react. Multilingual children are exposed to more than one linguistic system and culture. Is it possible that their Discourse entails nuances? This paper focuses on the Discourse of two simultaneous trilingual male siblings from age 1 to age 19. It suggests that immersion in different linguistic systems and cultures affords multilingual children a unique style of Discourse that any single linguistic system is incapable of achieving by itself. Multilingual children are able to configure their funds of knowledge, such as cross-linguistic mixing, phonological-semantic manipulation, cross-linguistic language play and nonverbal cues, to form a syncretic Discourse in which they create new meanings, optimize communicative intent, and negotiate their multilingual identities. The paper concludes with suggestions on how our educational systems can benefit from connecting multilingual children’s Discourse developed in the home or cultural context to the Discourse in the classroom context.
Xiao-lei Wang, Adelphi University, United States
About the Presenter(s)
Dr Xiao-lei Wang is a University Professor/Principal Lecturer at Adelphi University in United States
See this presentation on the full schedule – Sunday Schedule