Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Biliteracy is a term used to describe competencies in reading and writing, to any degree, developed either simultaneously or successively, in two linguistic systems. It is widely accepted that the development of literacy in childhood is a transformative and emancipating accomplishment. Literacy is consistently associated with educational achievement and continues to be a part of the cultural capital valued by our society. Becoming literate has significant intellectual advantages, including the development of metalinguistic awareness (i.e., the ability to talk and think about language), access to valued cultural resources, and the strategic use of linguistic and literacy resources as tools for thinking. In the case of bilingual children, learning to read and write in only one language does not suffice since bilinguals need to function in two linguistic communities. If becoming literate represents such a remarkable achievement, then the development of biliteracy seems to be an extraordinary feat. This entry Biliteracy ...