Developing Early Literacies in Informal Settings: Addressing Aspects of Language and Culture in Supported Playgroups

By Liam Morgan, Andrew Chodkiewicz and Criss Jones Diaz.

Published by The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The learning experiences of the early childhood years are recognised as vital to the continuing development of children throughout their school years. However, as budget pressures grow and the costs of formal child care continue to rise, reaching out and engaging with socio-economically disadvantaged children and their families remains a challenge. Recent research has highlighted the need for early childhood educators, researchers and policy makers working in early years leaning environments to engage more effectively in acknowledging and supporting the diverse languages, cultures and literacy practices of families in these settings. This paper reports on a study undertaken within a number of multilingual and multicultural supported playgroup sites in parts of Sydney, Australia. Drawing on a ethnographic approach, one of the main aims of the study was to explore ways of better supporting children, their mothers and carers to further develop children's abilities to make sense of a range of early literacies including oral, aural, visual, digital, print and critical modes of communication through the inclusion of linguistically and culturally appropriate resources in addition to traditional nursery rhymes, songs and activities.

Keywords: Early Literacies, Disadvantaged Families, Informal Settings, Multilingual and Multicultural

The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp.23-34. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 433.035KB).

Prof. Liam Morgan

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Liam Morgan is an associate professor and the former director of the Centre for Language and Literacy at the University of Technology in Sydney. He has been involved in research into language teaching and literacy development for almost 15 years. He has organised many professional development seminars for teachers and community workers, and his current research focus has been on the development of children's early literacies, home language maintenance, the teaching of community languages, and the application of technologies in education.

Andrew Chodkiewicz

Senior Researcher, Languages Academic Group, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Andrew Chodkiewicz is a senior researcher in the Languages Academic Group in the Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Technology in Sydney. He has extensive experience in researching and writing in the fields of adult and community education, adult and early literacy, community-school partnerships, environmental education, cultural and linguistic diversity, teaching of community languages, and education about human rights.