Digital play for language development in the early grades

South African Journal of Childhood Education

Field Value
Title Digital play for language development in the early grades
Creator van der Westhuizen, Leonie M. Hannaway, Donna M.
Subject Early Childhood Development; teacher education; digital technology in Education digital play; Grade R learners; language acquisition; early childhood; digital technology; information communication technology; teacher pedagogical beliefs
Description Background: The digital world and the concomitant changes in early childhood education have created uncertainty for teachers not knowing how to adjust their pedagogical practices of using digital play to enhance language development.Aim: This study aimed to analyse what teachers understand by digital play and how they use it for language teaching in the early grades, with specific reference to the reception year.Setting: The researcher chose a primary school in an urban area that had digital technology available in the classroom involving eight Grade R teachers.Methods: Semi-structured questionnaires and focus group interviews were used to collect data on how teachers interact with learners using digital technology. Non-participatory observations of these interactions were also noted. Data analysis considered teacher views about the role of information communication technology (ICT) in education, digital games, and the extent to which digital pedagogies can enhance language acquisition.Results: The analysis found that the teachers are willing to experiment with digital games. However, there is a need to understand more about digital technology and increase their knowledge on using digital games when teaching language. Teachers shared the view that digital games should, as is the case with traditional play-based pedagogies, be used to enhance language teaching as this generation is growing up in a digital environment.Conclusion: It was clear that the emphasis needs to be on the development of games, which use digital technology relevant to language teaching. Furthermore, the findings suggest that those pedagogies that use digital games relevant to the Digital Era be adopted. There is a need for further enquiry into teachers’ beliefs and digital literacy and practices in more diverse settings to further understand the value of digital play in language teaching.
Publisher AOSIS
Date 2021-03-17
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Generic qualitative design; Interview; observations; questionnaire
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajce.v11i1.925
Source South African Journal of Childhood Education; Vol 11, No 1 (2021); 8 pages 2223-7682 2223-7674
Language eng
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Coverage Africa; Southern Africa — Primary school teachers
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Leonie Magdalena van der Westhuizen, Donna Mary Hannaway