Social interactions in early literacy programmes: a research with Portuguese preschoolers

Submitted by: Ana Albuquerque
Abstract: Introduction: Numerous authors have demonstrated the benefits of invented spelling programmes in preschool contexts for young children’s literacy development (Albuquerque & Alves Martins, 2016, 2018; Alves Martins, Salvador, Albuquerque & Silva, 2016; Hofslundsengen, Hagtvet & Gustafsson, 2016; Ouellette, Sénéchal & Haley, 2013). Nonetheless, adult scaffolding interventions and peer interactions that occur in the intervention sessions are rarely explored in this process. Aim: Consequently, in this qualitative research we aimed at investigating the social dynamics that took place between the researcher and the participants in an invented spelling programme in small groups of Portuguese 5-year-old children. Method: We randomly selected children from the experimental condition with diverse metalinguistic skills at the beginning of the experiment – alphabet knowledge, syllable awareness and phoneme awareness. The programme was entirely audio recorded and transcribed so that we could study the interactive processes performed in the first, middle and last sessions. Results and discussion: The frequency and quality of interventions were analyzed and we identified specific adult mediation/scaffolding strategies and children speech units. Our results and its implications are discussed and reviewed within teaching-learning practices in preschool education curricula.

Keywords: preschool; invented spelling; scaffolding; peer interactions

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