Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (172.84 MB)

Situated literacy : a study of family literacy in Aotearoa/New Zealand

Download (172.84 MB)
posted on 2021-11-22, 11:46 authored by Smith, Juliet Suzanne

This study investigated the family as a site for literacy. The theoretical approach is that all literacy is situated in a social context. Eleven parents were interviewed about literacy use and practices both in their present families. The parents were from India, Sri Lanka, Britain and Aotearoa/ New Zealand. The study explored generational differences as well as aspects of diversity among the families. While there were similarities in the uses of literacy across the generations, diversity was evident in the differences in purpose between the Pakeha families and the others. For the Paheka the purpose of reading was for pleasure while the other parents stressed the importance of reading for moral messages and guides to behaviour. Parents spoke more often about reading than about writing, they recalled favourite books, especially those by Enid Blyton, and reported stories they told their own children. It is suggested that teachers might explore their own literacy experiences to better understand the issues of both literacy and diversity.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Education

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education


McDonald, G.; Dickie, J.