Date of Award

4-2002

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Speech Pathology and Audiology (to 2016)

First Advisor

Dr. Yvette D. Hyter

Second Advisor

Dr. Nickola Nelson

Third Advisor

Dr. Jan Bedrosian

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Regena Fails Nelson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Children from low-income families who are culturally or linguistically diverse face well-documented risks in literacy development. Children of these populations come to school with emergent literacy experiences that are often not valued by the schools. Enhancing the connections between literacy experiences at home and in the classroom may help to ensure the literacy development of all children. This study is an attempt to understand Head Start teachers' use of classroom literacy practices, their perceptions of home experiences, and the connections between the two environments from the teachers' perspectives.

The participating teachers use classroom literacy activities to facilitate phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, interest in books and reading-related activities, and to provide opportunities for social interaction. The teachers perceive their students' families to be reading books together, facilitating different functions of print, and providing opportunities for social interaction in their homes. Home and classroom connections may be enhanced by improving communication between parents and teachers, having more parent participation in the classroom, and bringing the children's home experiences into the classroom and vice versa.

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