Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Educational Studies


Language & Literacy

First Advisor

Pamela Jewett

Second Advisor

Tasha Laman


The purpose of this research was to inform educators in impoverished school contexts around the world, ways in which students, teachers and parents using their social and cultural lives, especially their home languages are capable of creating meaningful reading materials. This study addressed the following research question: What happens when parents, teachers and students work together to create multilingual books by participating in a writing workshop. Using participatory action research as a research design, and drawing from socio-cultural and critical literacy theory, the study was conducted at one primary school in the northwestern part of Tanzania. It used interview transcripts from 119 sixth grade students, 20 teachers, 19 parents, classroom interactions, and student-created books as data. Thematic approach was used for data analysis, and analytic memos to interpret data.

The study shows writing workshop repositioned teachers as observers, students as tellers of important stories, students' interactional patterns, and parents' participation patterns in their children' education. The study provides implications for teaching, teacher educators, critical educators, language policy makers, and researchers.