Literacy Matters Vol 24 Winter 2024

young children to read more about diverse cultures and even make them want to learn and read in more languages. However, children may find it hard to connect the language and culture while they read, which may cause confusion about the language and culture. Figure 4 shows a fiction book written by an American author. It is about a little girl and a ceramic rabbit. This book is not about

Chinese language. The language is easy to understand, but the content may not fit the student’s interest, especially

high-grade level students. Figure 2 shows an example of a book without Pinyin. Even though the characters are still animals, it talks about how the baby wolf has grown up differently than his family and even the “society” expected. It talks about family, love, and dreams. Students may find the content interesting to read; however, they may find the language hard to read because the book does not have Pinyin. The Authors of the Books Table 5 shows that 68% of the books in the Chinese corner were translated from works written by authors other than Chinese authors. American authors wrote 43% of the books, and 25% of the books were written by authors from countries other than China and the United States.

Figure 4 Book written by a Chinese author

Figure 2 Book without Pinyin

Chinese culture; however, it can offer a more accessible way for readers to learn the Chinese language and read the story in

Chinese because the author’s life experiences and cultural background may make American children feel more connected while reading. Figure 5 is a book in the Harry Potter series. This book is written by a British author, and it shows British culture even though it is situated in an unreal setting. It may offer the readers more opportunities to learn about distinct cultures while learning the language.

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25% Table 5 Authors of the Books

Figure 5 Book written by a Chinese author

Cultures of the Books Various cultures were presented in the Chinese corner in this English-Chinese immersion elementary school library. Although it was the Chinese corner in an English-Chinese school library, only 29% of the books represented Chinese culture, while other books were about various other cultures. Also, among the books about Chinese culture, 89% represented the ancient culture of China, while only 11% of the books were written about current China.

Figure 3 shows a fiction written by a Chinese author. This book can help students learn the Chinese language and culture from a Chinese author’s perspective, understand how students attend school in China, and learn more about Chinese culture. This book can help students understand

the Chinese language from a Chinese author’s perspective. It can provide readers with more connections between the Chinese language and culture. However, readers may find it challenging to understand the language and the culture they are not familiar with at the same time. Books written by worldwide authors offer students a global lens and help them understand various cultures while they read. 58% of books in Chinese were translated by authors other than Chinese authors. 43% of books in the Chinese corner were translated from works written by American authors, which could help children better understand the books they are reading while improving their literacy and language skills. Also, books written by authors from other countries can help students grow a global lens and help them identify themselves better while developing their language and literacy skills. Additionally, books representing different cultures can help children learn about various cultures and develop language and literacy skills. It may also encourage Figure 3 Book written by a Chinese author

Figure 6 is an example of a book situated in a historical setting about how a monkey saved 1,111 babies. This book is based on a fiction named Journey to the West , a famous story through history in China. However, even though this book is still famous in modern China, it could be challenging for readers to connect the story with current events in China.

Figure 6 Book Situated in Ancient Setting

After learning the Chinese language and culture in ancient times, they may become confused and feel disconnected when they learn about current Chinese culture. Figure 7 is an example of a book about contemporary China, which is about a typical issue in modern Chinese society. The Chinese New Year is a traditional festival that Chinese people still celebrate in China today. Many Chinese people work in large cities to earn money while the

Literacy Matters | Volume 24 • Winter 2024 | 21 |


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