ABS199 - Early childhood literacy and identity development

1.1 Social, cultural, linguistic and educational mediation
Tuesday Aug 29   11:20 AM to 11:40 AM (20 minutes)
Unlike oral language primarily acquired at home, literacy skills are usually learned in formal educational institutions.  This key premise of literacy as a collective training makes the development of it restrained to the influence of diverse social enactments. Additionally, the knowledge gained by a child during the first years of school life represents the shared knowledge of a culture but also the “schematic model of identity” (Bakhtin, 1993). This in-progress paper explores literacy practices from the point of view of 10 kindergarten educators from rural communities in central Mexico. In these communities, illiteracy percentages vary from 12 to 15% of the population; and from 29 to 35% of the people speak an indigenous language. The instrument used to collect the data was a focus group. The study utilizes Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL, Halliday, 2003) as an analytical tool and constructs and argues the identity construct concept developed from these practices on Bakhtin's philosophy. General findings suggest ideological (Ideational) and socio-cultural (Interpersonal) views toward literacy (in Spanish) that might have a significant effect on the children´s identity development. Socio-culturally, findings suggest idealizations opposed to stigmatized identities (Foucault, 1995) in the conception of the literate/illiterate dyad. Specific discursive resources regarding literacy actors in these contexts suggest an attempt to an idealization of the practice of literacy in Spanish that could be leading to stereotypes in the indigenous languages. Finally, some not surprising but certainly unexpected findings regarding advantages of rural communities compared to urban communities were also salient.
Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla