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
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2015.
Preschool, social constructivism, bioecological theory, preschool staff, emergent literacy, social language environment, language learning processes