Children’s Language Use during Play


A popular view of play as a frivolous pursuit has resulted in a rigorous academic curriculum and absence of play in many of today’s early childhood classrooms. Pretend play, largely due to its basis in symbolism, has been associated with language learning. The purpose of this project is to document children’s spontaneous and genuine use of language during pretend play. A naturalistic observation method will be used to investigate language used in recorded pretend play episodes. An observational tool developed by Roskos (2000) and narrative accounts will be used to document children’s use of oral and written language during pretend play for various purposes. Data analyses will be quantitative and qualitative. Results will contribute to research that advocates children’s pretend play for its richness of learning opportunities, thus, improving the misguided view of pretend play as an insignificant amusement by showing it as a beneficial context for language development.


Language, Literacy, Play


Early Childhood Learning


Poster/Exhibit Session


  • Rebecca Giles
    • Professor, Leadership and Teacher Education, University of South Alabama, United States Alabama, United States
    • Rebecca McMahon Giles, Ph.D., is a Professor at the University of South Alabama where she coordinates gradaute program in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Teacher Leader. She has spoken and published widely in the areas of early literacy and teacher preparation.