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Issues in Educational Research, 2019, Vol 29(4), 1201-1222.
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Selecting high quality dual language texts for young children in multicultural contexts: A UAE case

Zeina Hojeij, Anna Marie Dillon, Alecia Perkins
Zayed University, United Arab Emirates

Ian Grey
Lebanese American University, United Arab Emirates

Bilingual literature for children is valuable in encouraging literacy in second language learners. Stories can enhance vocabulary and language abilities, learning encounters, subject content, social aptitude, and other skills in the early reader through text as well as illustrations. This paper explores issues in selecting quality dual language picture books with the aim of deepening understanding of what is meant by 'quality' dual language books, in terms of text quality, specifically translation accuracy, cultural relevance and book information. Four English/Arabic bilingual children books were evaluated by three raters from different backgrounds. A mixed method approach was followed to combine qualitative evaluations of these books with quantitative scores based on inter-rater reliability. Findings highlight the importance of interplay between picture and verbal text in picture books, urging educators to give more explicit attention to illustrations in any evaluation of text quality in picture books.
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Authors: Dr Zeina Hojeij (FHEA, COI), corresponding author, is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She holds an EdD in educational leadership and administration from Saint Louis University, MI, USA. Her research interests include educational leadership, English language education, mobile learning technology, and teaching and learning.
Email: zeina.hojeij@zu.ac.ae
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7417-6610

Dr Anna Marie Dillon (FHEA) is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She holds a PhD in applied linguistics in early childhood education from the Technological University, Dublin. Her research interests include bilingual education, CLIL, and co-teaching.
Email: anna.dillon@zu.ac.ae
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8213-1295

Ms Alecia Perkins is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Curriculum Resources Center at Zayed University. She holds an MLIS from the USA and an MSc in international development from RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research interests include early childhood education, second language acquisition, and community resource centres.
Email: alecia.perkins@zu.ac.ae
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7158-9460

Dr Ian Grey (FHEA) is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Lebanese American University, Lebanon. He holds a PhD from the National University of Ireland and a doctorate in clinical psychology from Trinity College Dublin. He holds additional postgraduate qualifications in applied behavior analysis and in forensic psychology. His research interests include both applied psychology and experimental research.
Email: ian.grey@lau.edu.lb
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9773-2539

Please cite as: Hojeij, Z., Dillon, A. M., Perkins, A. & Grey, I. (2019). Selecting high quality dual language texts for young children in multicultural contexts: A UAE case. Issues in Educational Research, 29(4), 1201-1222. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/hojeij.pdf

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Created 10 Oct 2019. Last correction: 10 Oct 2019.
Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]