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ERIC Number: EJ996244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 46
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1468-7984
Exposing Preschoolers to the Printed Word: A Case Study of Preschool Teachers in Mauritius
Owodally, Ambarin Mooznah Auleear
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, v13 n1 p52-97 Mar 2013
Mauritius is a multilingual island, where there is a linguistic and literacy paradox. While Mauritian Creole dominates as the spoken language of the population, English and French are the main print languages, as well as the main languages of literacy and education. In such a complex situation, preschool is an interesting terrain in which to observe children's first official introduction to the printed word. The aim of this paper is to consider the ways in which preschool teachers expose children to print and decoding skills and some of the factors shaping their choices and pedagogical practices. This paper uses data from a longitudinal case study, using an ethnographic approach, to describe and analyse the strategies used by three teachers as they expose a group of four- to five-year-olds to the printed word in a government preschool. I argue that in foreign language contexts such as Mauritius, children's exposure to the printed word is often cosmetic and educational, with emphasis on the direct teaching of some decoding skills. I also argue that the relationship that the children build with print is one of seriousness, associated with schoolwork, thus playing down the meaning-making, more playful and more entertaining functions and uses of print. This is related to local linguistic, sociocultural and educational factors. (Contains 5 tables, 10 figures and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mauritius