Biliteracy Development among Refugees in Thailand

Hugo Yu-Hsiu Lee


This paper considers practices of biliteracy in the context of humanitarian-based English language programs for refugee children and adolescents in Thailand. Conducted over a period of eight months, this inquiry into refugees in Thailand presents the findings of an empirical study investigating biliteracy learning by urban refugees. This study took a multidisciplinary perspective of biliteracy by examining socio-economic inequalities among urban refugee children and adolescents which resulted in interruption to their formal schooling and had a relationship to the languages taught in their humanitarian based language learning programs. A central finding of this research is the need for biliteracy development of these young refugee learners by giving attention to teaching Thai language, which will help formal schooling interrupted refugee children and adolescents to resume their study in local Thai schools, accompanied by teaching globally-oriented English language. By the same token, while the promise of English language teaching and learning might empower young urban refugee students, English language teaching cannot be at the expense of Thai language teaching because the latter is urgently required for these young urban refugees to continue their formal schooling and decrease inequalities. Thus, a model of Thai-English biliteracy teaching suited to these refugee students in Thailand is much needed and its development is highly recommended.

Created by:     rcadmin
Created date:  9/08/2555