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ERIC Number: EJ1158448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Nov
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2381-3369
Indigenous Children's Use of Language during Play in Rural Northern Canadian Kindergarten Classrooms
Eisazadeh, Nazila; Rajendram, Shakina; Portier, Christine; Peterson, Shelley Stagg
Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, v66 n1 p293-308 Nov 2017
This article reports on research examining the social purposes of Indigenous kindergarten children's language and their construction of Indigenous cultural knowledge within and through interactions with peers during dramatic play and play with construction materials. The participants are three teachers and 29 children from two rural northern Canadian Indigenous communities that are accessible only by plane and winter roads. Data sources are video-recordings of the children's play interactions taken over 4 months and their teachers' perceptions of the Indigenous knowledge that the children construct in their play. Unlike results of many standardized oral language assessments indicating deficits in Indigenous children's language, our results showed that children used language for a wide range of purposes; a range that corresponds with results of previous studies of nonindigenous children's play interactions. Participating Indigenous children most often used "language for learning" and "language for imagining" in their play. Their teachers were heartened to see that their students, most frequently the girls, also used "language for disagreeing" and asserting themselves. Teachers felt that children were constructing powerful cultural identities that would contribute to positive change, if they could use language in these ways outside their Indigenous communities, as well. Participating children took up Indigenous cultural meanings in their play, such as relationships with the land and among family members. In some cases, they created hybrid narratives, bringing together elements of popular culture as well as traditional Indigenous land-based activities, such as fishing and hunting, into their play interactions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A