Sociodramatic play and the potentials of early language development of preschool children

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this study was to explore the interactions of preschool children with literacy-related materials, peers, and adults as they engaged in sociodramatic play. A second purpose of the study was to identify subsequent effects, if any, of that sociodramatic play on oral language acquisition and literacy behaviors. Play allows children opportunities to try out different ways in which they can combine the elements of language without having to worry about the consequences of making errors. Thus, the sociodramatic play context is conducive to language acquisition. Researchers have indicated that oral language development is influenced by social interaction and the kinds of materials children use. The problem is whether or not teachers use social interaction and materials enough to sufficiently facilitate development and properly select literacy-related materials to promote the development of language acquisition. Therefore, three questions guided the study: (1) How does sociodramatic play with literacy-related materials create opportunities for language acquisition at the preschool level? (2) How does social interaction through sociodramatic play experience among preschool children foster language acquisition as they are interacting with their peers? (3) How do adults influence the language expression of preschool children during sociodramatic play? The qualitative research design for this study utilized a case study approach to explore sociodramatic play in a preschool setting. Observations included interactions of children and the multiple functions of language they used while interacting with literacy-related materials, peers, and adults. Halliday's (1975) seven functions of language were used as coding categories. The findings of this study revealed that the children's interactions in sociodramatic play, with literacy-related materials, peers, and adults provided an opportunity for children to use language for multiple functions within the context of their sociodramatic play while writing and speaking. Providing children with the needed support and exposure to materials encouraged literacy and language growth. In this play setting, adults assumed roles as scaffold, facilitator and mediator while children were actively involved with a variety of strategies such as modeling, designating, and coaching each other as they engaged in language activities.

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Education, Language and Literature