Desirable Literacies

Desirable Literacies Approaches to Language and Literacy in the Early Years

Second Edition

Companion Website

© 2009 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Published in Association with United Kingdom Literacy Association

What are the ways in which young children learn to communicate? Collating their extensive experience of language and literacy in the early years, the contributors explore key aspects of this topic, linking practical ideas for early years settings and classrooms to relevant theory and research.

This second edition is updated to take into account important developments in research, policy and practice, and now covers the 0-8 age range. It also addresses developments in new media and the impact this has upon literacy in young children, and offers chapters on new areas which have emerged in recent years, such as multimodality, media literacy, creative arts and literacy.

Explored in the book are:

- the relationship between play and literacy;

- the role environmental print has in early literacy development;

- the language and literacy development of young bilinguals;

- ideas, suggestions and justifications for the use of poetry;

- a two-year research project, funded by Creative Partnerships; and

- key issues relating to family literacy.

Jackie Marsh and Elaine Hallet
Jim McDonagh and Sue McDonagh
Learning to talk, talking to learn
Naomi Flynn
Living in two worlds: The language and literacy development of young bilinguals
Liz Stone and Julia Gillen
White cars like mice with little legs: Poetry in the early years
Elaine Hallet
Signs and symbols: Environmental print
Guy Merchant
Early Reading Development
Ann Browne
Developing writing in the early years
Rosie Flewitt
Multimodal Literacies
Kate Pahl
Looking with a different eye: Creativity and literacy in the early years
Julie Dunn
Play, drama and literacy in the early years
Tim Waller
ICT and literacy
Jackie Marsh
Media iteracy in the early years
Viv Bird
Family literacy - past and present
Fran Paffard
Going fishing: observing, assessing and planning for literacy development in young children

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One PDF


'[This book] is packed with information, examples and case studies which will make it very useful to both students and established practitioners' - Early Years Update

A new edition of Disirable Literacies that addresses core issues around the breadth of children's literacy development (including the impact of home literacies).

Dr Alastair Daniel
Department of Education, London Metropolitan Uni (City Campus)
February 1, 2012

Marsh and Hallett have re-presented the ideas around literacy and wider cultural issues in ways that reflect current theory, policy and practice and recent research. An additional new chapetr relates to children and digital literacy which is essential in the technological world in which we live. The references at the end of each chapter provide students with an accessible reading list to enhance their learning.

Mrs Karen Clarke
School of Education, Wolverhampton University
August 26, 2010

An excellent publication which explores many of the key issues which surround today's literacy practices. An in depth exploration of media literacy, multimodality and using film with Early Years children. An essesntial read for anyone interested in ensuring that young children are engaged in meaningful activities.
Many practical ideas are suggested based on the most recent research.

Mrs Tracy Parvin
Education , Canterbury Christ Church University
September 30, 2009

New to the 2nd edition:

  • Takes into account important developments in research, policy and practice
  • Coverage of the 0-8 age range
  • Addresses developments in new media
  • Chapters on new areas such as multimodality, media literacy, creative arts and literacy

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781847872821
ISBN: 9781847872814

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