Developing Early Literacies in Informal Settings

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  • Title: Developing Early Literacies in Informal Settings: The Importance of Cultural Representation in an Aboriginal Playgroup
  • Author(s): Criss Jones Diaz, Liam Morgan , Andrew Chodkiewicz
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning
  • Keywords: Australian Aboriginal, Safe Spaces, Strengthening Literacies, Disadvantage, Cultural, Linguistic and Social Capital
  • Volume: 25
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2018
  • ISSN: 2327-7939 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-8722 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-7939/CGP/v25i01/29-43
  • Citation: Jones Diaz, Criss, Liam Morgan, and Andrew Chodkiewicz. 2018. "Developing Early Literacies in Informal Settings: The Importance of Cultural Representation in an Aboriginal Playgroup." The International Journal of Early Childhood Learning 25 (1): 29-43. doi:10.18848/2327-7939/CGP/v25i01/29-43.
  • Extent: 15 pages

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a yearlong study within an Aboriginal playgroup on the outskirts of Western Sydney. Using a methodology that was collaborative and iterative and gathering data through a participant ethnographer who was herself Aboriginal, enabled a clear view of the impact of literacy strategies that were implemented in consultation with mothers and the playgroup leader. It was found that Aboriginal texts, stories, songs, and dance, arranging for children to experience various Aboriginal cultural events, as well as talking about and modeling language interactions, led to increased and regular child and child-adult literacy interactions. Longer-term impacts relating to home literacy practices and transition to school were also reported.