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Is every child’s voice heard?: Researching the different ways 3-year-old children communicate and make meaning at home and in a preschool playgroup

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Disciplines
  • Communication

Abstract

This ESRC-funded study explores how 3-year-old children use a range of ‘voices’ during their first year in pre-school, investigating how they make and express meaning ‘multimodally’ through combinations of talk, body movement, facial expression and gaze in the two different settings of home and playgroup. Using longitudinal ethnographic video case studies of four children, two boys and two girls, the study identifies patterns in the children’s uses of different communicative strategies that relate to the dynamics of the institutional and immediate contexts in which they are situated. The findings imply that the current focus on talk in the early years may be detracting from the diversity of ways children make and express meaning.

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