Young Children's Engagement with Digital Texts and Literacies in the Home: Pressing Matters for the Teaching of English in the Early Years of Schooling

Research has established young children’s increasing use of computers and other new technologies in the home. Yet, teaching about digital texts and digital practices most often appears as an addition to early literacy instruction in classrooms where “business-as-usual” maintains an emphasis on print and print-based texts. This article examines two young children’s literacy practices in the home during their searches for information about lizards using Google, Wikipedia and a reference book about reptiles. Conversation analysis of the young children’s social interaction establishes how interaction resources produced socially recognisable actions, how social activity mutually accomplished knowledge about lizards, searches, images and print, and how children shifted seamlessly between various technologies and texts. It is concluded that the children’s activities constitute the kinds of digital literacy practices that might inform, reform, or transform, the teaching of English in the early years of schooling.

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