IOE EPrints

Early literacy learning in the contemporary age

Flewitt, Rosie (2014) Early literacy learning in the contemporary age. In: Early Years Foundations: Critical Issues. Open University Press, pp. 98-108.

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In this chapter I discuss some of the complex challenges facing young children as they learn to become literate in today’s multi-media world. Definitions of literacy have changed over time, and for many years different understandings of what ‘literacy’ is and how it should be taught have fuelled contentious debates. In this chapter, I review contemporary thinking about early literacy including the current curriculum emphasis on the teaching of phonics. I also discuss new terms that have emerged, such as the plural literacies to indicate the many different ways that children and adults engage with literacy in different contexts, and multimodal literacies to describe how young children become literate not just through language but through learning to use and understand different combinations of modes, such as gesture, gaze, body movement, sounds and spoken language in face-to-face communication, and images, layout, colours and written and spoken language in printed and digital texts. Finally, drawing on examples from recent research, I discuss how practitioners can adopt inclusive approaches to supporting early literacy development through playful activities with traditional and ‘new’ media, which respect the diversity of young children’s lives and needs.

Item Type: Book Section
Controlled Keywords: mutlimodal literacies; multi-media; digital technology
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 29 Aug 2014 06:53
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:56
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