Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the extent and quality of prior knowledge, transactional nature, and social context of literacy knowledge demonstrated by young mildly handicapped learners. The study was based on current theories of literacy which view literacy growth as part of the total language system development, and ethnographic methods were used to gather and analyze qualitative data. Language and literacy events were observed in three special education classrooms including 43 students ranging in age from 4 years 1 month to 9 years 11 months. Major findings of the study included: (a) The children in this study demonstrated prior literacy knowledge much like that of non-handicapped peers, (b) Demonstrations of oral and written language system transactions decreased after students received formal instruction in reading and writing. And (c) children's ability to interpret print depended greatly on the presence or absence of context with the print.
Date: August 1986
Creator: Austin, Jerry Patricia Gentry