Reading with Preschool Children Guided by Regulatory or Emancipatory Purposes: A Case Study

By Ulla Damber.

Published by The International Journal of Literacies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 14, 2014 $US5.00

The theoretical framework guiding this article builds on the tension between the differing perspectives on literacy learning: is it best taught using autonomous activities or activities embedded in a social, historical, and cultural context as described by the autonomous versus the ideological model for literacy. The read-aloud practices have been studied in one case study (data from interviews, lengthy observations, focus group interviews, artifacts, video recordings) of a preschool where thematic work guided the activities. They were also examined in one larger study where preschool teachers and teacher trainees documented the reading activities, by use of observation schedules, during one week in forty different preschools. Converging evidence indicate a tension between planned language games and phonics exercises on the one hand and on the other hand child initiated emergent literacy activities, such as pretend reading and prewriting. The emergent literacy activities were observed in connection with thematic work. In the larger sample of preschools, thematic work did not occur and the purpose of the read-alouds was predominantly regulatory or disciplinary to make the children rest. The differences between thematic reading, regulatory reading, and child initiated play reading will be illuminated and analyzed.

Keywords: Read-alouds, Preschool, Emergent Literacy, Social Literacies, Phonics, Thematic Reading

The International Journal of Literacies, Volume 21, Issue 1, December 2014, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 14, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 385.501KB)).

Dr. Ulla Damber

Senior Lecturer in Reading and Writing Development, Associate Professor in Educational Work, Department of Language Studies, Umeå University, Umea, Sweden