Children as language inquirers: Developing language awareness through dual language picture books
Children continuously engage in developing theories about how the world works as they inquire through play and interactions with others.
In this presentation, Associate Professor Nicola Daly presents findings from a six-week study with 8-11 year old children introducing them to dual language picture books featuring a range of languages. As Nicola and colleagues interacted with the children they observed and recorded their developing language awareness. Nicola and colleagues investigated children’s in-process thinking in the form of working theories about language as they engaged with dual language picture books in an afterschool club.
Although dual language picture books are often associated with supporting bilingual learners, they argue that these books can also encourage children to develop their awareness of language and language diversity. Nicola and colleagues analysed field notes, audio recordings, and children’s artefacts to identify the kinds of working theories about language being explored by children and their strategies as learners in these inquiries.
The findings show children developed working theories about what language is, what it means to know a language, and how language is learned.
Nicola Daly is an Associate Professor at the University of Waikato
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