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Community Literacy Activism: Amateur authors writing multilingual graded readers


Inspired by Citizen Science, this article defines Community Literacy Activism, its relationship to the field of applied linguistics, and its benefits for the development of human resources, tools, and materials needed for diffusing innovation across languages. The concept is elucidated with an initiative for training multilingual Community Literacy Activists (CLAs) to author simplified, multilingual storybooks and lead Literature Circle (LC) discussions at an international university in Japan. Preliminary answers are offered for the following research question: How can CLAs contribute to multilingual literacy developments in their communities? Our preliminary findings reveal four general learning objectives for multilingual CLAs: second language ownership, the ability to modify language levels in the L1 and L2, intercultural communication, and inclusive facilitation skills.


Community Literacy Activist, Citizen Science, Extensive Reading, Graded Readers, Multilingual Education


Author Biography

Paul Sevigny

Center for Language Education, Associate Professor


Shoichi Manabe

Center for Language Education, Lecturer

C Hari S Shankar

APM, Undergraduate

Julia Lim

APS, Undergraduate