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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Language, Literacy and Culture
Module Code EC303
School 77
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Grainne McKenna
Semester 2: Grainne McKenna
Autumn: Grainne McKenna
Module TeachersGrainne McKenna
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
Resubmit assignment and repeat exam

This module is focused on the development of language, literacy and culture in early years’ settings with a particular focus on the uniqueness, creativity and agency of the individual child. Students will explore contemporary conceptualisations of literacy and what it means to be literate in an information age. Students will develop a critical awareness of a range of national and international perspectives underpinning early literacy development. There is a strong focus throughout the course on the development of enabling environments to facilitate children’s development and progression in oral language, reading and writing in authentic contexts/ways. Students will explore a variety of practical strategies and methodologies to foster the holistic development of early literacy skills and dispositions for learning.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explore contemporary conceptualisations of literacy in early childhood settings
2. Develop a critical awareness of a range of national and international perspectives underpinning early literacy development
3. Develop knowledge of a range of pedagogies and methodologies to foster and facilitate the development of oral language, reading and writing
4. Demonstrate a secure knowledge of a range of appropriate assessment practices and tools to monitor and support literacy development in the across the continuum of early childhood
5. Create learning environments to promote the uniqueness and creativity of the individual child

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12No Description
Workshop12No Description
Assessment Feedback40No Description
Independent Study61No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Perspectives on early literacy development
• Historical perspectives on early literacy • Emergence of ‘emergent literacy’ • Socio-cultural perspectives on literacy development • Personal perspectives: literacy learning histories • Defining literacy in the 21st Century

Facilitating the development of early literacy:
Babies, toddlers and pre-school children • Forms of Shared Reading o Dialogic Reading: before, during and after reading: babies, toddlers and pre-school children o Language Experience Approach • Enabling learning environments: creating, observing, planning, resourcing and differentiating for shared reading

Children’s literature: Babies, toddlers and pre-school children
• Choosing children’s literature for the early years • Visual literacy and picture books • Enabling learning environments Creating, observing, planning, resourcing and differentiating in relation to children’s literature

Oral language development: babies, toddlers and pre-school children
• Phonological awareness • Vocabulary development • Interactions: Listener/speaker relationships/scaffolding • Oral story telling: developing and sustaining narratives from imagination; re-telling narratives of stories read aloud • Enabling learning environments: creating, observing, planning, resourcing, differentiating in relation to oral language development

Writing development: toddlers and pre-school children
• Stages of writing development • Nurturing creativity/uniqueness • Writing as mark making/communicating • Fine motor skills/multisensory approaches to mark making/writing • Shared writing • Enabling learning environments: Creating, observing, planning, resourcing, differentiating in relation to writing development

• Authentic tasks • Observation • Anecdotal records • Narrative assessment; Literacy stories • Enabling authentic literacy assessment

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayCreate a portfolio of work to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the development of a stimulating learning environment to foster children’s early literacy development60%Every Week
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Brock A. & Ranklin C.: 2008, Communication, language and literacy from birth to five, 1st, 7, Sage, London, 1412945909
  • Developing language and literacy: 2001, Developing language and literacy, 2nd, Paul Chapman, London,
  • Tina Bruce, Jenny Spratt: 2008, Essentials of Literacy from 0-7, 1st, 9, Sage Publications Ltd, London, 1847872425
  • edited by David K. Dickinson and Patton O. Tabors; [forward by Sue Bredekamp]: 2001, Beginning literacy with language, 1st, 13, P.H. Brookes Pub. Co., Baltimore, Md., 155766479X
  • Gouuch, K.: 2010, Towards excellence in Early Years education: Exploring narratives of experience, 1st, 8, Routledge, New York, 1107689538
  • Kress, G.: 1997, Before writing: Rethinking the road to literacy, 1st, Routledge, New York, 0415138055
Other Resources

37761, Paper, Flewitt, R.S., 2013, Literacy: A broader vision: TACTYC Occasional Paper, http://www.tactyc.org.uk/occasional-papers.asp, 37762, Video Talk, 0, “The Linguistic Genius of Babies,”, video talk on TED.com, a TEDxRainier event, www.ted.com/talks/patricia_kuhl_the_linguistic_genius_of_babies.html,
Programme or List of Programmes
BECEBachelor of Early Childhood Education

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