English language learners’ writing behaviours during literacy-enriched block play

Despite the rising number of linguistically((Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modelling them.)) diverse students in countries where English is the primary medium of instruction in schools, there is a relative lack of research on how these students learn to write in English and respond to common classroom literacy practices. One practice found in early childhood classrooms is literacy-enriched play, but little research explores how young English language learners respond to this particular intervention. This exploratory study examines three linguistically diverse kindergarten students’ use of writing materials in a literacy-enriched block centre in their classroom. Observational notes and writing samples produced by the students during block play were analyzed to determine the frequency and variety of their writing behaviours. The results indicated that all the students, regardless of language background, incorporated drawing and writing into their block play with similar frequency, although they sometimes used different writing strategies. These findings indicated that literacy-enriched centres can provide linguistically diverse students with meaningful opportunities to practice writing. © 2016, The Author(s) 2016.

Despite the rising number of linguistically((Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modelling them.)) diverse students in countries where English is the primary medium of instruction in schools, there is a relative lack of research on how these students learn to write in English and respond to common classroom literacy practices. One practice found in early childhood classrooms is literacy-enriched play, but little research explores how young English language learners respond to this particular intervention. This exploratory study examines three linguistically diverse kindergarten students’ use of writing materials in a literacy-enriched block centre in their classroom. Observational notes and writing samples produced by the students during block play were analyzed to determine the frequency and variety of their writing behaviours. The results indicated that all the students, regardless of language background, incorporated drawing and writing into their block play with similar frequency, although they sometimes used different writing strategies. These findings indicated that literacy-enriched centres can provide linguistically diverse students with meaningful opportunities to practice writing. © 2016, The Author(s) 2016.

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