ERIC Number: ED376432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Oct
Studying Emergent Literacy in a Classroom Environment. Technical Report No. 599.
Sinha, Shobha; And Others
A study examined when, how, and with whom literacy acquisition occurs in the school setting. The study developed an observation technique, focused on how it evolved, how it could be applied to the classroom setting, and how data from classroom observations over time can be interpreted. Subjects were 243 children deemed to be at risk of future academic failure who attended half-day class in one of two schools for the entire pre-kindergarten school year. Subjects were in a district-developed program called Early Start that heavily emphasized language and encouraged active participation of the children through both self- and teacher-directed tasks. The framework of emergent literacy dictated the definitions of observation categories. Results indicated that: (1) children engaged mostly in free-choice activities; (2) children worked independently with materials for about half of the observations, and were involved with literacy for 35% of the observations; and (3) the literacy learning process that teachers used most often was that of encouraging students to self-direct their activities. Findings suggest that the coding system and guidelines for interpreting the data collected using this classroom observation system demonstrate the value of observing literacy in classroom settings. (Contains 13 references and six figures of data. An example of an observation sheet is attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Reading, Urbana, IL.