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EMERGENT L2 LITERACY APPROACH. Designed (2011 -2012) and Delivered (March 19 th , 2012) By Nettie Boivin nettiethai@gmail.com For IPB-GM (KL) & MAEPA Program. AGENDA. Warm – up Literacy Fallacies of Literacy Research on Family L iteracy Emergent Literacy Approach

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emergent l2 literacy approach

Designed (2011-2012)

and Delivered (March 19th, 2012)

By Nettie Boivin


For IPB-GM (KL) & MAEPA Program

  • Warm – up
  • Literacy
  • Fallacies of Literacy
  • Research on Family Literacy
  • Emergent Literacy Approach
  • Components and Examples of Emergent L2 Literacy Approach (Boivin, 2012)
who am i
Who Am I?

TASK 1 In groups brainstorm the meaning and context of the pictures

who am i1
Who Am I …?

Now present your answers

to the class

emergent literacy approach

When does literacy start?

Age 7

Age 6

Age 5

Age 4

Age 3

Age 2

Age 1

AT BIRTH!!!!!!

fallacies of literacy

Literacy can ONLY be LEARNT in the formal classroom.


Heath stated (1983, 2001) that students learn the socio-cultural conventions of literacy from the family and community.

TASK 2- Discover the differences between the comics.

fallacies of literacy1

Literacy only occurs when the child enters school!


Children entering school without emergent literacy skills may struggle to keep up with their peers’ rate of literacy acquisition.

(Galindo, & Sheldon, 2012)

Children’s performance in kindergarten is a predictor of their later success in school.

(Alexander, Entwisle, & Dauber, 1993)

spheres of influence
  • Two most important literacy learning contexts are home and school (Galindo & Sheldon, 2012).
  • Home and school contexts are overlapping ‘spheres of influence’. (Epstein, 2001)
fallacies of literacy2

Families have no role in helping children to read!


Evidence for 30 years from many developed countries conclusively prove that families involvement in children’s education increases their academic success.

(Arnold & Doctoroff, 2003; DeBaryshe, 1992; Flouri & Buchanan, 2003, 2004)

Decades of research results highlight that parents and family members are powerful influences on the student achievements across grades (Epstein & Sheldon, 2006; Henderson & Mapp, 2006; Hudelson, 2006;Jeynes, 2005; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998; Wang, Haertel & Walberg, 1993).

fallacies of literacy3

Families cannot help because they cannot read!


The emergent skills that are essential for later literacy acquisition are practices and habits– they do not require a high level of parental literacy skills.

(Arnold & Doctoroff, 2003; DeBaryshe, 1992; Flouri & Buchanan, 2003, 2004)

research states that
Research States That:

1) Families who are actively involved in literacy activities have children with:

Larger vocabularies (Hart & Risley 1995)

Faster vocabulary growth over time (Huttenlocher et al, 1991)

Better cognitive abilities than other students (Siraj-Blatchford et al, 2003).

2) Low-income families participate in higher levels of literacy activity develop some emergent literacy skills

EX. reading, games, storytelling

(Evan et al, 2000; Purcell-Gates, 1996, 2003; LeFevre and Senechal, 2002, 1996).

emergent literacy
Emergent Literacy

Task 3 –

On the sheet match the vocabulary to the definition

1. Language Ability

EX. including vocabulary development and comprehension of the narratives, stories and conversations one is exposed to

2. Letter Knowledge

EX. knowing the names and corresponding sounds of letters

3. Phonological Awareness

EX. able to identify and manipulate sounds in spoken language

Policy Brief No 13 2008: Literacy in Early Childhood www.rch.org.au/ccch/policybriefs.cfm

(Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001)

emergent literacy1
Emergent Literacy

4. Understanding the Basic Concepts of Reading and Writing Text

EX. the left-to-right, top-to-bottom direction of print on a page

5. Literacy-Promoting Environments

EX. keeping books in the home, conducting home literacy activities such as shared book reading

Policy Brief No 13 2008: Literacy in Early Childhood www.rch.org.au/ccch/policybriefs.cfm

(Whitehurst & Lonigan, 2001)

emergent literacy approach1
Emergent Literacy Approach
  • Emergent Literacy Practices usually occur at birth.
  • They are done by caregivers with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
  • L2 students (year 1 and 2) are emergent L2 learners.
  • Implementing these younger practices with early primary pupils will instill a love of reading.
what is emergent l2 literacy approach boivin 2012
What is Emergent L2 Literacy Approach?(Boivin, 2012)

It is a series of interconnected practices and habits

attitude to literacy.

It consists of several practices based on various theories

what it is not

It is not teaching skills!

Skills are – the how to do something.

It is not about teaching strategies!!

Strategies – help a student overcome a problem.

It is a practice-

TASK 4- Brainstorm what you think will be the components of Emergent L2 Literacy Approach (Boivin, 2012)

components in emergent l2 literacy approach boivin 2012
Components in Emergent L2 Literacy Approach (Boivin, 2012)

Extended discourse

Using a Variety of vocabulary

Shared readings

Books Selection

Exposure to a variety of L1 literacy

Oral Storytelling

Dramatic Performance & Role Playing

Games, art, and singing

extended discourse
Extended Discourse
  • Link New Vocabulary with Action
  • Is discussing new vocabulary and connecting it to the child’s personal experience.


  • A child sees a new object – gas mask. Parents mime the gas mask and the action of breathing

Better enable the children to comprehend the meaning.

See Dr. Seuss – “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”

TASK 5a -In pairs half the class will try explain a new word using gestures.

(Dickinson and Tabor, 2001, p.239-240)

extended discourse1
Extended Discourse

2. Previewing the Target Vocabulary through a Picture Walk

  • EX.: First picture in the book -a picture of a cabin on top of a hill overlooking a nearby town.
  • Discussed and labelled the home in the forest cabin.
  • Engage in talking about how a cabin looks.

TASK 5b -In the same pairs the other half the class will label the pictures.

exposure to a variety of l1 literacy experiences
Exposure to a Variety of L1 Literacy Experiences

Situations such as:

  • Going to a mall,
  • Reading signs,
  • Maps,
  • Singing,
  • Playing games

Better facilitates emergent literacy learning.

differences between extending and exposing to a variety of vocabulary
Differences between extending and exposing to a variety of vocabulary
  • From Eric Carle’s “Polar Bear, Polar Bear”

TASK 6a-

Notice the sentence structure. What is changes in each sentence?

The colour name (this is extending- you are adding to the child’s colourvocabulary).

shared r eadings
Shared Readings

Certain characteristics in the readers speech does not always make it easier for the students to understand (Cook, 1993; Spada, 1994).

Shared readings(Senechal and Cornell, 1993) or reading to your children.

-Studies show that from 18 months onward children with high receptive and expressive skills had be read to more(Roberts, Jurgens and Burchinal, 2005).

shared readings
Shared Readings

Three Things to Focus on:

  • Changing the language to make understanding easier
  • Changing the sentence structures to make it easier
  • Increasing frequency of language and structures.


After watching the teacher model (The Gigantic Turnip) the above practices in small groups try them out.

reading style
Reading Style
  • The style in which books are read is found to enhance the established language benefits of shared reading
  • Interactional Modification-

Repetitions (Cervantes and Gainer, 1992)

ex. Enormous Turnip allow the children to play the role of the various characters pulling the vegetable.

As well gestures are important

Role Play the story

reading style1
Reading Style

Shared story telling promote a number of important emergent literacy skills (Hargrave& Senechal, 2000; Huebner, 2005).

Finger pointing at words or phrases during storybook reading (Morris, 2003; Stahl, 2003).

interactive q uestioning
Interactive Questioning-

Interactive questioning –

comprehension checks by means of questions or unfinished sentences, paraphrasing, visual aids (flashcards, regalia, body language), and allowing children to act out sections of the text

Task 8

The lecturer will model good and bad way to story tell. Which is which and why?

(Gregory & Cahill , 2011)

interactive questioning
Interactive Questioning

Two Types of Questions:

  • Display types
  • Comprehension Checks


  • “What colour is his shirt?”
  • “Is his shirt blue or red?”

TASK 9- You will be given on of the two types of questions. In small groups read the story using that type of question. The members in the group must decided which question and how to improve the question.

interactive questioning1
Interactive Questioning-

Questions about the text:

Parents start with simple questions that describe or explain the story or label objects.

Questions to facilitate Predication

(Gregory & Morrison, 1998)

types of teaching prediction
Types of Teaching Prediction


  • The meaning of predicting (guessing what will happen next). Read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle aloud, stopping after the page with the sheep. Model predicting by saying: “I think there will be another animal that comes and asks the spider to do something. I predict that this will happen because it has already happened three times and there seems to be a pattern.”

Think Check

  • Ask: "Why did I predict that there will about another animal that comes to the spider?"


  • Continue to read The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle and predict what the spider will say to each animal that approaches her. We will stop reading at the page with the rooster. Note: You will need to cover the pages that tell the reader what the spider says.
extending the story
Extending the Story
  • Dramatic monologue Create a monologue for a character in a scene. What are they thinking/feeling at that moment? Why?
  • Collage Create an individual or class collage around themes or characters in the book.
  • Draw! Translate chapters into storyboards and cartoons; draw the most important scene in the chapter and explain its importance and action.
  • P.S. After you read the story, write an epilogue in which you explain – using whatever tense and tone the author does – what happened to the character(s) next.
  • Read aloud One student starts the reading and goes until they wish to pass. They call on whomever they wish and that person picks up and continues reading for as long as they wish.
  • Speculation Based on everything you know now in the story, what do you think will happen and why do you think that?
  • Post-Its If they are using a school book in which they cannot make notes or marks, encourage them to keep a pack of Post-Its with them and make notes on these.
  • Just the facts, ma'am Acting as a reporter, ask the students the basic questions to facilitate a discussion: who, what, where, why, when, how?
  • Brainstorming/Webbing Put a character or other word in the middle of a web. Have students brainstorm associations while you write them down, then have them make connections between ideas and discuss or write about them.
  • Cultural literacy Find out what students already know and address what they need to know before reading a story or certain part of a story.
  • Storyboard Individually or in groups, create a storyboard for the chapter or story.
  • Tableau Similar to the Pageant of the Masters, this option asks you to create a still life setting; then someone steps up to touch different characters who come alive and talk from their perspective about the scene.
  • Narrate your own reading Show kids how you read a text by reading it aloud and interrupting yourself to explain how you grapple with it as you go. Model your own thinking process; kids often don't know what it "looks like" to think.
  • Venn diagram Use a Venn diagram to help you organize your thinking about a text as you read it. Put differences between two books or characters on opposite sides and similarities in the middle.
  • Storytelling After reading a story, pair up with others and tell the story as a group, recalling it in order, piecing it together, and clarifying for each other when one gets lost.
books selection
Books Selection
  • The books need simplified, repetitive structures that expose children to a variety of language.

EX. Eric Carle, Robert Munsch, Sandra Boynton, Dr. Seuss. Maurice Sendak, Mother Goose, Grimm’s fairy tales, Aesopsfables, Greek or Traditional myths.

  • “Brown Bear, brown bear what do you see? I see a yellow duck looking at me? Yellow duck, yellow duck what do you see? I see a…”
  • Types of narrative, the speaking speed determined by pauses.
oral storytelling
Oral Storytelling
  • Fit the model to the needs of the local context and relevance to the students’ needs.
  • Make it meaningful to the student’s life considering the factors of:




Cultural learning styles.

  • Parents talking about their personal narrative histories is important.
dramatic performance role playing
Dramatic Performance & Role Playing
  • Using several types of literacy projects not just one type

Ex. Puppetry, Drama, Performing Traditional stories for the community, Performing Religious stories, Interactive Storytelling, Collaborative comic/story creation, Multimodal performance creation

games art and singing
Games, art, and singing
  • Games such as ‘I spy’, card games
  • Reciting of nursery rhymes (Huebner, 2000; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998).
  • The singing of ‘learning’ songs, such as alphabet songs;

rhyme, rhythm and repetition acts as an effective memory aid (Butzlaff, 2000; Forgeard et al, 2008).

types of games

Comprehension (Listening)-


Board Race


Word Hunt

Production (Speaking)

Musical Chairs

Chopstick Race





Speaking & Listening

Fruit basket

Duck, Duck, Goose

games sites
Games sites




how to read
How to Read…



Read in a monotone

Keep the same rhythm throughout the whole story. Even poems an embedded pauses or breaks in the story.

Read the story word for word.

Overdramatize the story so that is becomes incomprehensible.

If the tone of the voice is the same meaning will be lost. If the words aren’t gestures meaning will be lost. And if they are no interaction meaning will be lost.

  • Read slowly and clearly
  • Pause or emphasize words.
  • Alter or simplify words – this could be as simple as gesturing to allow the student to understand the story.
  • Change the pitch, intonation, and emotion of the readers’ voice. Be expressive with your voice to engage the student- Ex. The BIG zebra (using voice and gestures to emphasize big).
  • Everything is used for effect so that the student can understand the story. Stories should have levels such as: soft vs. loud, happy vs. sad, fast vs. slow, rhythmic vs. pauses.
how to read1
How to Read…



Avoid reading with a blank face.

Avoid just reading the story as it does not bring the children into the story.

Don’t ask Y/N questions

Don’t punish the student for not knowing the answers or giving wrong answers.

Don’t just ask a question and answer it. Allow the students to use their prior knowledge to guess at the meaning. No spoon feeding answers try instead to scaffold the answers Ex What is this? Is it a dog? No ? It is a (don’t give answer yet) say only the first letter to see if it triggers prior knowledge.

  • Use gestures and facial expressions to engage the students and allow for comprehension of meaning.
  • Engage the readers and get them to interact with the primary school students (use actions, ask question etc.)
  • Ask questions about the story and picture.
  • Understand the types of questions to use.
  • Ask questions about the words as well as the picture. Use the questions to gage comprehension of story, vocabulary, and prediction Ex. What will happen next?
how to read2
How to Read…



Don’t give a dictionary definition of the word. Instead use gestures to allow the student to comprehend meaning.

  • Use the story, gestures and questions to extend vocabulary. Ex. T: What is this?
  • S: Zebra
  • T: What colour is the Zebra?
  • S: Black…
  • T: And , and wh, wh…
  • S: White
  • T: The zebra is black and white. They have .. do you know what these are called (stripes)
  • S: No
  • T: Stripes (pause allowing time for the student to naturally repeat). The zebra has …(pause)
  • S: black and white stripes
  • Emphasize language and story comprehension using gestures and pointing to the object in the picture.

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