ISSN 1753-0849

Childhoods Today Online JournalChildhoods Today

An online journal for childhood studies

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Volume 2 Issue 2 - December 23, 2008

"Today I was a Mittagskind" – a Small-Scale Study of the Home Literacy Practices of a Four-Year-Old Multilingual Girl

Misti Savage

Studying home literacy practices offers possibilities for learning how children in the early years acquire and use their multilingual abilities in multilingual contexts. Here it is argued that examining the home literacy practices of early years children within international contexts and discovering how these children use their different languages may teach us about how their literacies are developing in a multilingual environment. This article begins with an overview of research conducted in the area of home literacy practices as well as a brief review of some multilingual research conducted within the New Literacy Studies perspective. It then reports on one four-year-old child’s home literacy practices. It explores the multilingual usages within the home and tries to discover what role multiliteracies are playing in literacy development. The findings support the significance of authentic literacy encounters in the emergent literacy perspective including environmental print and popular culture texts.