TRANSITIONS INTO LITERACY: A PSYCHOLINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF BEGINNING READING IN KINDERGARTEN AND FIRST GRADE CHILDREN.
AuthorHAUSSLER, MYNA MATLIN.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe purpose of this study is to describe the relationship of developing print awareness in eight kindergarten and first grade children to their development in beginning reading of texts. The following questions are analyzed: (1) What is the relationship of awareness of environmental print to beginning text reading? (2) What is the relationship of book handling knowledge to beginning reading? (3) What is the relationship of metalinguistic awareness to beginning reading? (4) Do these relationships change over time? This descriptive, longitudinal study over one year presents several types of data collected and analyzed with the following instruments: audio taped recordings using the script "Signs of the Environment"; Sand, A Diagnostic Survey: Concepts About Print; informal teacher interviews; parent surveys; tape recordings of the children's reading analyzed with miscue techniques; and classroom observation. The data indicate that the children in this study are aware of environmental print in context. When the print becomes decontextualized, differences are seen between middle- and working-class children. While environmental print awareness was used to select high and low groups, the groups did not remain constant when observed in relationship to reading connected discourse. Children whose parents reported early book experiences demonstrate the greatest knowledge about using books and about the reading of connected discourse. Metalinguistic awareness does not appear to be closely related to success in beginning reading. In their transitions into literacy, children first use personal experience and context to gain meaning from print in the environment and in books. Knowing that print makes sense, children use contextual supports to read print in the environment and apply semantically-oriented transitional reading responses to the reading of connected discourse. As they read from books, their focus narrows from using pictures, knowledge of plot, and past reading experience to focus on print. As children discover that their transitional reading responses do not work on connected discourse, they begin to integrate reading strategies to text. Whole language classrooms, like the one in this study, are important to beginning readers, particularly to those who need additional support for making the transitions into literacy, because it highlights all beginning reading of functional print.
Degree ProgramElementary Education