The continuum of literacy in american indian communities

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14 Scopus citations


Based on research among the Tohono O’odham of southern Arizona, this paper first describes spoken O’odham and oral narrative, relating this to the development of O’odham children’s English literacy. Oral tradition constitutes one aspect of a "literacy continuum" grounded in familial and community relationships. "School literacy" often constitutes an opposite end of that continuum; historically this form of literacy has remained isolated from and in conflict with literacy rooted in the family/community context. The discussion here shows how the two types of literacy are connected in children’s writing, and provides recommendations for educators to tap indigenous students’ linguistic and cultural resources to promote literacy in a second language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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