Indeterminate Future and Language Acquisition Practices Among Temporary and Permanent Immigrant Families

Yeon Sun (Ellie) Ro, Gregory Cheatham, Jeonghee Choi


In-depth investigation of permanent and temporary families’ daily educational activities in diverse settings—home and their communities (e.g., school, after-school, playground, heritage language school, church)—creates a picture of daily bilingual discourses, literacy practices, and socio-cultural influences. As a part of an ethnographic longitudinal seven-year study, the study presented in this paper focused on two immigrant families’ transnational biliteracy practices as they relate to identity transformation, linguistic ideology, and socio-cultural influences on home/heritage language/literacy retention and development. These factors appear likely to impact heritage language retention and acquisition as they relate to U.S. immigrant families’ indeterminate residency futures. Thus, this study focused on socially-shaped and culturally-influenced bilingual and biliteracy development and the vector of residential indeterminacy related to the challenges of heritage language and literacy maintenance and development of two immigrant children and their families. Different types of immigration patterns and families’ decision making changes about their future residency affect young language learners’ ethnic, cultural, and linguistic identity as they are embedded in their daily bilingual and biliteracy practices. Literacy researchers and educators can attend to young diverse learners’ linguistic and socio-cultural backgrounds as they relate to each family’s own story of residential history as well as determinate or indeterminate residency futures.



bilingual practice, immigration, language and literacy, childhood education

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

The NABE Journal of Research and Practice is a publication of the National Association for Bilingual Education in association with the Northern Arizona University College of Education.  For more information, visit About the journal.

The author(s) of each article appearing in this Journal is/are solely responsible for the content thereof; the publication of an article shall not constitute or be deemed to constitute any representation by the Editors, the National Association of Bilingual Education, or Northern Arizona University that the data presented therein are correct or sufficient to support the conclusions reached or that the experiment design or methodology is adequate.