Reading and Oral Literacy in Disadvantaged Communities: Quebec Preschool and Primary Teachers’ Perceptions and Practices

By Lizanne Lafontaine.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Children who have difficulty learning to read are most common in disadvantaged communities (Brodeur & al, 2010). Furthermore, several studies have shown that oral skills are rarely taught in class (Dolz & Schneuwly, 1998; Lafontaine & Messier, 2009; Lafontaine & Dumais, 2011). Despite the large number of studies on emergent and elementary literacy, little is known about either Quebec preschool and primary teachers’ perceptions of the integration of literacy in their classes or their practices relevant to the issue (Espinosa & Vertalier, 2009; Maltais, 2007; Terwagne, 2006; Sénéchal, 2006). The primary objective of the current research-training project (2010-2012), funded by a provincial program requiring a university-community partnership whose aim is the high-level professional development of educational practitioners, is to offer training and research seminars in reading and oral literacy to preschool and primary teachers in three schools in disadvantaged communities in Quebec who work with regular students as well as those with language challenges. The project’s specific objectives are to guide teachers in the development and experimentation of situations involving literacy learning and evaluation and to study the impact of the seminar on the integration of the concept of literacy and the renewal of practices. The proposed communication will examine the evolution of teachers’ perceptions of reading and oral literacy based on the analysis of four questionnaires, four focus groups, and two semi-directed interviews conducted between September 2010 and April 2012. The ways in which the concept of literacy was integrated into daily practice as well as how the training the teachers received positively affected their practice for the better of their students will be presented.

Keywords: Literacy, Reading, Oral, Teaching Practice, Renewal of Practice, Disadvantaged Communities

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.69-80. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 268.326KB).

Lizanne Lafontaine

Professeure agrégée, Département des sciences de l'éducation, Université du Québec en Outaouais, Saint-Jérôme, Québec, Canada

Lizanne Lafontaine is professor at the Faculty of Education at Université du Québec en Outaouais. Her specialization is oral language didactics. She wrote three didactical books about teahcing oral language in primary and high school classes. She does qualitative and action research in classrooms from preschool to high school. Her research interests are literacy, oral language and french didactics.