NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1123950
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1476-718X
Investigating Affordance of Opportunity for Young Children's Language Interactions in a Nursery Setting: How Can Small Group Talk Act as a Forum for Language Learning?
King, Sarah Elizabeth; Dockrell, Julie E.
Journal of Early Childhood Research, v14 n4 p351-369 Dec 2016
The importance of research on the unique nature of the communication supporting environment in nurseries has been heightened by growing evidence of the significance of early language skills for later academic and social development. This study focussed on children's language use during small group times. Opportunities to hear and practise language were examined to uncover variation in conversational experiences for children with differing language needs. In this mixed-methods study, different measures were used to examine the relationship between participation and language level. Participants were an Early Years practitioner and 19 3- to 4-year-olds in two cohorts. Children's language levels were measured using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Pre-School (2) UK. Quantitative analysis of interaction rates was made from video recordings of small group conversations. This was followed by detailed qualitative examination of talk during episodes of more sustained conversation. Differences were revealed in affordance of opportunity for children according to language level. Children's interaction rates were positively correlated with scores on the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals Pre-School (2) UK at the start. Analysis showed conversational features of both formal and informal talk. Combining features from each was found to be associated with episodes of sustained conversation. Patterns of turn-taking were associated differently with participation for children with higher and lower language levels. Findings support the role for small group times as a forum for language development, facilitating opportunities for children differently according to their language needs. This has important implications for practice in supporting children to make the transition from informal to formal talk in the educational setting.
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A