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Title: Understanding the home language and literacy environment of Chilean low SES families of preschoolers
Author: Rivadeneira, Mercedes
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 1364
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This research explores the Home Language and Literacy Environment (HLLE) of pre-­‐ schoolers from a sample of low socio-­‐economic (SES) Chilean urban households, to examine how it fosters their familiarity with the school literacy register and supports their acquisition of language and literacy skills. Four specific measures of these skills were examined: vocabulary, letter and word identification, spelling and text comprehension. A comprehensive theoretical model of the HLLE and its influence on these skills was built. This included meso influences (caregivers’ values, beliefs and expectations regarding their child’s literacy development and education, and language and literacy resources) proximal influences (frequency and type of literacy practices and parent-­‐child conversations), and distal influences (SES, family demographics). A mixed-­‐methods’ approach was used to explore this HLLE construct, including: (i) a quantitative study (N=1,132) and (ii) a qualitative study with a subsample (N=30) informed by direct observations of the child in their HLLE and a semi-­‐structured interview with their caregiver. This research provides a predictive model of the HLLE that increases our understanding of the paths of influence of different HLLE components. It found that after controlling for minor SES variations there was still variability of HLLE resources, beliefs and practices within the sample; these predicted the four measures of language literacy and skills examined. Families that provided a higher HLLE had more holistic views of literacy development and higher educational expectations for their children, as well as a higher sense of self-­‐efficacy regarding their children ́s education and learning. Finally, this research found that the caregivers studied tended to: a. hold high educational expectations for their children, b. hold a skills-­‐based, purely phonetical approach to literacy, viewing literacy learning as a discreet process, c. saw school as the child ́s main source of literacy instruction and home as a place of “reinforcement” of school, d. have few pre-­‐established home routines, e. consider one of their main attributes to be to protect the child from external dangers or distractions, f. hold a maturational view of children ́s development; g. foster family and community interdependence. h. rely more on observation and physical closeness than oral interaction, i. frequently support their preschoolers ́ literacy development through homework and the use of ABC books, and j. almost seldom engage in shared or independent reading.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available