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Teaching literacy through interaction Kotcher, Jean Maria


The purpose of this study is to describe the similarities between adult assistance to children's early language development and teacher assistance to primary children's literacy development. The main problem the study addresses is how child-centered language interaction was used by teachers in an Emergent Literacy program to promote student's skills in reading and writing. The methodology used were field-based, qualitative research techniques to document interaction during reading and writing conferences. The documentation was done through the use of field notes and audio taping during the conferences. The notes and transcriptions were analyzed for the presence of teacher use of framing and formatting. It was also analyzed for the presence of verbal scaffolds, accountability structures and semantically contingent utterances on the part of the teachers. The study concludes that those selected features of adult assistances to children's language development are present in the teacher assistance to children in this program. This may be explained by the teachers' commitment to child-centered, teacher-guided interactions which place children's efforts and sense of meaning at the center of the literacy learning experiences.

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