Papers & Workshops



Preschoolers: What do they Know about Literacy?


Janelle Young

Australian Catholic University, Everton Park, Queensland, Australia

Research in early childhood literacy development reveals overwhelmingly that young children are learning about written language prior to commencing school, but three questions remain unanswered. What do young children know about written language, how do we find out what they know and what influence does this information have on the teaching of literacy in Year 1? This paper will report on a research study that was conducted with 114 young children from the end of their preschool year to the end of Year 1. The study investigated the different ways young children learn to be literate and involved mapping the children,s knowledge and understanding about literacy and their acquired and developing literacy skills over a twelve month period. The subjects were drawn from three preschools in a capital city area. Data were gathered from the children, preschool teachers, parents and Year 1 teachers. This paper will report on the data gathered from the children in November of the preschool year. Aspects of literacy that were gathered from the preschool children included knowledge, understanding, and skills relating to: environmental print; story comprehension; alphabetic knowledge; word recognition; writing development; phonemic awareness and Concepts About Print (Clay 1972).
  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000