links intro narrative debleena cornelia lisa methodology conclusions references

collage of images from Lisa's narrative


For Lisa, an American who lived in the Netherlands for 17 years, literacy also served as an entry into a foreign culture, as she describes in her narrative, "Learning Kinderlijke Dutch." (Transcript and captioned video available..) Unlike the first two women, English was her first language, but when she moved to Amsterdam, Holland, she needed to learn Dutch if she were to be assimilated into the culture that her husband and children shared. In her video interview, Lisa describes this entry as facilitated through her children, who were born in Amsterdam and grew up speaking fluent Dutch:

The point at which it took the biggest leap, my being able to really communicate was when I had, um, my children. And, um, it was through speaking with them, and reading things that were meant for them, and engaging with the culture and the society because of them that I really started to become a Dutch speaker.

Lisa notes that the level of Dutch her children read in their early school books was the level she could barely comprehend, and she learned the language along with them, albeit much more slowly. 






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