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Förskolan - en arena för social språkmiljö och språkliga processer
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3486-7986
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Title: Preschool – a social language environment and an arena for emergent literacy processes.

Author: Martina Norling

By focusing on preschool, as an arena for emergent literacy and language learning processes, this thesis put the lens on preschool staff´s approaches and strategies in the social language environment in Swedish preschools. Taking its point of departure in real preschool settings, the overall purpose of this thesis is to develop a greater understanding of this social language environment, with particular emphasis on the quality dimensions of strategies, such as the preschool staff´s sensitivity and approaches in the preschool environment. Two didactic issues are of special importance to the thesis: preschool staff´s descriptions of what kind of strategies and approaches they use in the social language environment as well as how preschool staff support children’s language learning processes in literacy-related activities.

The thesis consists of four articles aimed at capturing, variations of dimensions of preschool staff strategies as well as approaches that contribute to highlighting essential strategies for supporting children in the social language environment. The theoretical framework in this thesis consists of social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1997) and bioecological theory (Bronfenbrenner, 2005).

The four empirical studies in this thesis have made possible a mixed method design. The data production consists of questionnaires with questions regarding background information of the participants, observation instruments (scoring the quality of the social language environment), focus group interviews, video observations as well as a systematic literature review.

In this thesis, three dimensions of preschool staff strategies in social language environment emerged: play strategies, emotional strategies and communicative strategies. The social language environment in Swedish preschool can be described in terms of those three strategy dimensions and continuous interplay processes among children, peers and preschool staff, over time. The quality dimensions of strategies focus, on preschool staff efforts and children’s prerequisites of learning processes, rather than focusing on children’s individual performance.

Keywords: Preschool, social constructivism, bioecological theory, preschool staff, emergent literacy, social language environment, language learning processes

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2015.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 173
Keyword [en]
Preschool, social constructivism, bioecological theory, preschool staff, emergent literacy, social language environment, language learning processes
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27362ISBN: 978-91-7485-184-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27362DiVA: diva2:783021
Public defence
2015-03-13, Alfa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-01-23 Created: 2015-01-23 Last updated: 2015-10-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Preschool staff´s view of emergent literacy approaches in Swedish preschools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Preschool staff´s view of emergent literacy approaches in Swedish preschools
2014 (English)In: Early Child Development and Care, ISSN 0300-4430, E-ISSN 1476-8275, Vol. 184, no 4, 571-588 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study aims to investigate preschool staff's view of emergent literacy approaches in Swedish preschools with the following research question: How do preschool staff describe and explain the approaches they use in the emergent literacy environment of preschool? Focus-group interviews were conducted with 52 participating preschool units. Manifest content analyses were used and the interviews were systematically analysed relying on socio-cultural theory and the ecological development approach [Barton, D. (2007). Literacy an introduction to the ecology of written language. London: Blackwell; Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and language. Boston, MA: MIT Press], in accordance with Whitehurst and Lonigan's [1998. Child development and emergent literacy. Child Development, 69, 844-872] components of emergent literacy. The results show that preschool staff apply both outside-in and inside-out approaches; however, outside-in approaches such as play and supportive communication are described most frequently in the focus-group interviews.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-21796 (URN)10.1080/03004430.2013.800511 (DOI)2-s2.0-84891748471 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2008-31337-61896-69
Available from: 2013-10-06 Created: 2013-10-06 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved
2. Engagement and emergent literacy practices in Swedish preschools
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Engagement and emergent literacy practices in Swedish preschools
2015 (English)In: European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, ISSN 1350-293X, E-ISSN 1752-1807, Vol. 23, no 5, 619-634 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Children's ability to express thoughts, ideas, and needs is vital to their full participation in a democratic society. In the preschool environment, multiple opportunities to engage in emergent literacy practices may stimulate this ability. The study used an ecological development approach to investigate the language environment in Swedish preschools, focusing on the relationships among seven classroom quality dimensions. Children's engagement was measured by observing their active participation in emergent literacy practices. The results showed that positive climate, instructional learning formats and language modeling were the most significant contributors to engagement in emergent literacy practices. To conclude, children's engagement in emergent literacy practices seems to benefit from a positive climate and needs and uses instructional discussions and activities in the everyday situations in preschool.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2015
Keyword
preschool engagement; preschool quality; emergent literacy; language;
National Category
Social Sciences Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27353 (URN)10.1080/1350293X.2014.996423 (DOI)000365605600004 ()2-s2.0-84948580089 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Förskolan som barns språkmiljö
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2008-31337-61896-69
Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2015-01-22 Last updated: 2015-12-30Bibliographically approved
3. Language Learning in Outdoor Environments: Perspectives of preschool staff
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language Learning in Outdoor Environments: Perspectives of preschool staff
2015 (English)In: Nordisk Barnehageforskning : Nordic Early Childhood Education Research, ISSN 1890-9167, Vol. 9, no 1, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Language environment is highlighted as an important area in the early childhood education sector. The term language environment refers to language-promoting aspects of education, such as preschool staff’s use of verbal language in interacting with the children. There is a lack of research about language learning in outdoor environments; thus children’s language learning is mostly based on the indoor physical environment. The aim of this study is therefore to explore, analyse, and describe how preschool staff perceive language learning in outdoor environments. The data consists of focus-group interviews with 165 preschool staff members, conducted in three cities in Sweden. The study is meaningful, thus results contribute knowledge regarding preschool staffs’ understandings of language learning in outdoor environments and develop insights to help preschool staff stimulate children’s language learning in outdoor environments.

National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-29137 (URN)10.7577/nbf.749 (DOI)
Available from: 2015-09-25 Created: 2015-09-25 Last updated: 2015-10-08Bibliographically approved
4. Literacy-Related Play Activities and Preschool Staffs´ Strategies to Support Children’s Concept Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Literacy-Related Play Activities and Preschool Staffs´ Strategies to Support Children’s Concept Development
(English)In: SAGE Open, ISSN 2158-2440Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This study investigateslanguage-promoting strategies and support of concept development displayed bypreschool staffs´ when interacting with preschool children in literacy-relatedplay activities. The data analysed consisted of 39 minutes of video, selectedsystematically from a total of 11 hours of video material from six Swedishpreschool units. The selected sequences were play situations where preschoolstaff and child/children were present and teachers used strategies for creatinga high instructional climate. The results show that spontaneous play, dramaticplay, adult-initiated play and child-initiated play, as well as access toobjects or toys offer numerous opportunities in literacy-related playactivities to support children’s concept development. Results showed thatduring play activities, such events stimulated children’s language modellingand presented opportunities to increase the preschool children’s conceptdevelopment. However, more research is needed in this area, especiallyconcerning how preschool staffs´ participation, timing and sensitivity help supportchildren in literacy-related play activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE Open
Keyword
emergent literacy, language, concept development, preschool staff
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27355 (URN)
Projects
Förskolan som barns språkmiljö
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2008-31337-61896-69
Available from: 2015-01-22 Created: 2015-01-22 Last updated: 2015-10-08Bibliographically approved

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