Ventriloquism as early literacy practice: making meaning in pretend play
Bateman, A. (2016). Ventriloquism as early literacy practice: making meaning in pretend play. Early Years, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/09575146.2016.1254162
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11204
This article discusses how children in New Zealand make meaning in their spontaneous pretend play from kindergarten (four years old) through to their first year of primary school (five years old). The findings discussed here are taken from a wider project investigating children’s storytelling where 12 child participants were video recorded during their everyday storytelling experiences over a three-year period. This article reveals how children’s engagement in pretend play often involves playing out an impromptu storyline where ventriloquism is used to talk objects into life through paralinguistic features such as gesture, gaze and voice prosody. These findings suggest that through the act of ventriloquism in pretend play children learn to engage in complex meaning making activities in playful ways, orally formulating characters and building coherent and systematic storylines that can be identified as early literacy practices.
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