Publication Details

Turner, M. & Turbill, J. B. (2007). Kinder kids: learning to read in the 21st Century. Critical Capital: Teaching and Learning: AATE & ALEA National Conference 2007 (pp. 1-20). Canberra: ALEA/AATE.


Children who enter kindergarten bring to the school environment, a wide range of abilities in reading. Prior literacy experiences in the home and the wider community have been shown to contribute towards these wide ranging abilities (Cairney & Munsie, 1992; Cairney & Ruge, 1997; Brown, 1998; Brooker, 2002; McNicol & Dalton, 2002; Manzo & Robelen, 2003). Our society today, though, is changing rapidly. Our task, therefore, as educators is to prepare our children to function in a future civilization created by the biggest leap in technology since the Industrial Revolution two centuries ago. We have entered a time when advances in technology are having an important effect on literacy development (Snyder, 2001; Leu, 2002; Cloonan, 2005).This study set out to explore the nature of kindergarten childrens multi-literate practices in their homes. In paper-based materials, the study explored the frequency of storybook reading, the activities parents participated in during storybook reading, the reading activities that young children initiated, and other reading activities apart from storybook reading. In technology, the study explored the frequency of use of different techno-literacies (Snyder, 2001) and parents views on the role of these techno-literacies in learning to read and write.It was found that while there was a wide range of multi-literate practices in the homes of kindergarten children that comprised both paper-based and techno-literacies, parents held different views about the role that techno-literacies played in learning to read and write. These views seem to mirror those of early years teachers, namely that print and paper-based skills are more highly valued for young emergent readers and writers.

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