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UBC Theses and Dissertations

In-depth analysis of the connections between the development of letter-sound correspondence in writing and beginning reading Nucich, Joy Euphemia


This research investigates literacy-based behaviors and their development in a Grade One classroom. It examines in detail the strategies children used to make reading and writing connections in emergent literacy. It focuses on one particular stage of writing when children first begin using letters to represent sounds and its relationship to beginning reading in the context of a classroom. Current research on emergent literacy provided the theoretical framework for this study. The teacher as researcher used a linked case study design to investigate the development of reading and writing in five children within the context of twenty-four children in the Grade One class. The children were observed participating in many varied activities, over a ten month period. To facilitate the collection of detailed descriptions on the case studies another teacher came into the classroom four days a week to assume classroom responsibilities and free the researcher to concentrate on the case study child at this particular level of emergent writing and reading. Fieldnotes on the direct observations of emergent writing and reading of the case study children formed the primary source of data. The children's writing samples were collected daily along with documentation of their growth in reading. An analysis of the data revealed the observations fell into the categories of initial letter strategy, children's literature, literacy play and collaborative talk. These categories seemed particularly significant because they were observed so frequently across all case studies. The results of the study isolate the use of the initial letter strategy as a significant developmental marker and an important connection between reading and writing which signals a critical time in a child's developing awareness of literacy. Additional findings highlighted the use of names and children's literature as reading/writing connections. The study concludes by presenting practical implications for instruction and the educational context which may be useful for classroom teachers.

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