Exploring iPads in Practitioners’ Repertoires for Language Learning and Literacy Practices in Kindergarten

We have explored the role of a tablet computer (the Apple iPad) and a shared display as extensions of a practitioner's repertoire for language learning and literacy practices in a multicultural kindergarten. In collaboration with a practitioner, an intervention was designed that included the use of two iPad apps in a language learning and literacy practice session with a group of 5 children aged 5. We have analysed the conversations around the tablet computers and in front of a shared display, trying to identify types of talk. The roles of the iPads, the apps and the shared display are discussed in relation to the types of talk, engagement and playfulness observed in the activities. We argue that the intervention led to valuable activities for language learning and literacy practices. The two selected apps differ in their levels of structure (directed vs. open) and genre (show and tell vs. fairy tale), and this difference will be discussed in relation to the types of conversation they initiate, and the extent to which they enable the children to transfer experiences from books and hence develop their literacy to include digital and multimodal resources.

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