Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 1, No 1 (2007)

Following the trail of oral history: A story of literacy with Armenian children

Hourig Attarian
Issued Date: 26 Jun 2007

Abstract


This article explores language and identity issues within a small group of trilingual Montreal Armenian children in informal Saturday literacy group sessions. These sessions provided alternative avenues for the promotion of Armenian literacy. The participants attended Armenian heritage language day schools in Montreal. All had great grandparents who were 1915 Armenian genocide survivors. To pay a living tribute to their memory, we embarked on an oral history project, using a range of visual artifacts, such as photographs and old ID documents. The children were invited to explore their great grandparents’ family histories and share their findings within the group. A videotaped account of the session reveals fascinating evidence of the children’s engagement with the project, their collective meaning-making through dialogue, and their negotiations of language and identity issues as reflected in the weaving of their narratives.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v1i1.25

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