Emergent literacy : the impact of a shared reading and writing programme at junior infant level

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Maguire, Aine
Issue Date
BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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This study investigates the effect of a shared reading and writing programme on emergent literacy, more specifically on print awareness and function. Research has suggested the benefits of utilising both reading and writing in a reciprocal fashion to advance emergent literacy (Clay, 1998, Aram & Biron, 2004). A mixed design, quasi-experimental in nature involved 48 participants (29 girls and 19 boys), enrolled in 2 junior infant classes. The experimental group (n = 26) and the control group (n = 22) with a mean age of 4.6 years were assessed on entry to school on 2 British standardised tests, the Larr Test of Emergent Literacy and the Foundations for Learning test. An independent samples design was used to investigate the impact of an 11 week intervention programme as measured on a retest of the Larr test. The results of this study showed no significant difference between groups on the post-Larr test (t(46) = .854, p> 0.05, 2 tailed). Further sub hypotheses investigated the effects of gender and English language status and found that gender did not have a significant effect on performance on tests, but that English language status did, resulting in significant score differences between native and non-native participants. Correlational investigations found no significant relation between age and performance, but found support for a moderate positive correlation of scores across the Larr and the Foundations for Learning tests. In conclusion, the benefits of a skills based approach to emergent literacy utilising the methodologies of shared reading and writing could, with improvements in design, add to findings in support of the current literature.