Original Research

Promoting emergent literacy in under-served preschools using environmental print

Lauraine Giacovazzi, Sharon Moonsamy, Munyane Mophosho
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 68, No 1 | a809 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v68i1.809 | © 2021 Lauraine Giacovazzi, Sharon Moonsamy, Munyane Mophosho | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 December 2020 | Published: 17 May 2021

About the author(s)

Lauraine Giacovazzi, Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Sharon Moonsamy, Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Munyane Mophosho, Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Children from under-served communities are at risk for delayed spoken language and literacy development. Under-served preschools frequently contend with lack of resources, especially with regard to access to age-appropriate storybooks and/or print resources. Environmental print is a cost-effective material that can be used to stimulate emergent literacy skills. In the context of under-served communities, a collaborative approach and mentorship between preschool teachers and Speech-Language Therapists (SLTs) promote language and literacy development.

Objectives: This article’s purpose is two-fold; firstly, to discuss the use of environmental print as a stimulus material to promote emergent literacy in preschoolers in under-served preschools. Secondly, to promote the SLT’s involvement in such education initiatives.

Method: A mixed-method, comparative intervention research design, was reported in this article. A pre- and post-test design was employed, with data collected before and after a teacher-based intervention.

Results: Participants in the intervention group displayed increased scores on the Concepts About Print (CAP) assessment, participants in the comparison group showed no change in scores using the same assessment over the same time period.

Conclusion: A short-term, teacher-based intervention using environmental print with SLT mentoring and collaboration promoted preschool children’s emergent literacy skills. Implications include the value of using environmental print as a teaching material and the positive impact of collaboration between SLTs and teachers to promote emergent literacy in preschool children.


Keywords

collaboration; emergent literacy; environmental print; under-served preschools; SLT

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