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Preschool children's explorations of letters in their own names

  • Susan Kidd Villaume (a1) and Lavisa Cam Wilson (a1)

Abstract

Preschool children's early understanding of letters was explored using literacy events focusing on name. Five tasks were designed to elicit information about children's conceptualizations of letters in their own names. Responses were analyzed descriptively to determine general patterns. Children were then clustered into strategy groups. These groups provided a basis for a developmental description. Children's own names proved to be a unique source for creating and testing hypotheses concerning letters due to frequent exposure to both the printed script and the oral script (the spelling of name). This exploration was marked by several major transitions: a movement from a unidimensional conceptualization of letters to a multidimensional conceptualization; a movement from general principles to an assimilation of specific knowledge regarding the principles; and a movement from independent explorations of the printed and oral scripts to integration of the two scripts.

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Corresponding author

LaVisa Cam Wilson, 5040 Haley Center, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849

References

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Clay, M. (1982). Reading: The patterning of complex behavior. Exeter, NH: Heinemann.
Dyson, A. (1983). The role of oral language in early writing processes. Research in the Teaching of English, 17, 130.
Ferreiro, E. (1986). The interplay between information and assimilation in beginning literacy. In Teale, W. & Sulzby, E. (Eds.), Emergent literacy. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Ferreiro, E., & Teberosky, A. (1982). Literacy before schooling. Exeter, NH: Heinemann.
Hildreth, G. (1936). Developmental sequences in name writing. Child Development, 7, 291303.
Lieberman, E. (1985). Name writing and the preschool child. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. 269759.)
Mason, J. (1980). When do children begin to read: An exploration of four year old children's letter and word reading competencies. Reading Research Quarterly, 15, 203227.

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Preschool children's explorations of letters in their own names

  • Susan Kidd Villaume (a1) and Lavisa Cam Wilson (a1)

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