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Early Literacy for Caribbean Preschoolers...

Posted By: Barbara Joseph on November 20, 2004

Dear Beverlyn

Thanks for the response above. Just some points

International/Standard English is the national language the code that's used in formal settings e.g. Education, court, the media.
Young children as in Jamaica, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago etc. grow up in communities where an "English-based Creoles" are spoken.
** There is still a host of social complications regarding the speech of Creole-speaking children and young people. In preschools this can take the form of rejection (by teachers who themselves speak Creole English) and constant verbal correction that stops spontaniety:
My question: Why not use this "native spontaniety and verbal openness" to help children connect with English and books? **The young ones chat a lot. **So then it is not so much the kind of materials and themes etc. but the techniques that can be used in bringing children to the text.___________________________________________________

**Throughout Trinidad and Tobago there is a need for stronger measures/policy that places a lot more emphasis on enlightened Early Literacy teaching practices in preschools. ***There is not enough interaction between children, books and printed material in ECCE settings. This needs to be researched and described. ___________________________________________________________

The result of this is poor academic performance for many young people at the upper Primary and secondary levels.These eventually reject Literacy.
Those who experience success are those who "connected with books" very early but our policy makers have forgotten this..._________________________________________________

1. English is our Language. But there exists varieties of English. Speakers switch from Creole English to International/Standard English according to situation and purpose.

2. I am looking for ways that will help many of our young children interact with English text/materials to develop Literacy---and will at the same time make use of their verbal creole spontaniety and openness. I suspect that developing the capability to code-switch early may be the answer.

3. There are books that reflect the dialect...but our ECCE teachers need to be aware of these as well as methods of teaching Early Literacy.
**I wrote a whole lot here I hope it makes sense.

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 Seeking to communicate with teacher-researchers with an interest in Early Literacy for young children with a Caribbean or similar background by Barbara Joseph on March 25, 2004
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