• Alif Fakkar posted an update 2 months, 2 weeks ago

    Discourse Analysis Journal Review #3

    Name: The discourse of drama supporting literacy learning in an early years classroom.

    Author: Annette Harden

    Source: Australian Journal of Language & Literacy. 2015, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p141-149. 9p. 4 Black and White Photographs.

    This article describes and analyzes the discourse occurring during a guided drama event with embedded literary teaching in an early years classroom.

    In 2007, a transition class was introduced across Queensland schools, removing the optional preschool year and bringing the age of school entry to 5 by the end of June. The first year children, aged between 4 to 5 years old, who would have enrolled in preschool, were faced with a curriculum that puts higher literacy and numeracy demands on its participants compared to the preschool curriculum.

    Harden analyzes the discourse occurring during one of her class which combines drama plays and early years literature study, where the children would take turns roleplaying as palaentologists discovering, observing, recording, and speculating about fossil bones at a dig site while some would roleplay as dinosaur fossils.

    The connections to prior learning and curricula were three-fold: the children’s interest in dinosaurs, the curriculum purpose of investigating scientific phenomena and developing scientific modes of thought, action and expression, the phonemic exploration of the letter ‘d’ (for ‘dinosaurs’), and most particularly, the fashioning of useful words for labels, applying their phonetic knowledge.

    Her findings of the analysis are as follows:
    – Literate practice modeled in the drama flowed on into dramatic play, and the children showed an aura of competence in their dialogue and action and the practice of skills that were very valuable in their play.

    – Students with the roleplaying as scientist are active contributors to the action and dialogue, fully utilizing their voice and agency by questioning, arguing, making declarations of discovery and knowledge consistently with frequently during the drama event. The students who roleplay as fossils mostly stayed true to their passive role and only contributed the occasional comment.

    – The modeled oral language of scientific investigation was taken up and used competently by participating ‘scientists’.