Emergent Literacy and Language support for ECD children from under-served communities in Gauteng South Africa: a collaborative approach

Sharon Moonsamy, Stephanie E. Carolus


South Africa’s history of inequality and injustice has influenced its diverse population, who continue to experience marginalisation despite the era of democracy. These underserved communities have little access to services that support their children’s language and literacy development. The researchers argue that early intervention supports language and literacy skills of children in early childhood development centres (ECDs), improving literacy acquisition and future scholastic progress. This paper demonstrates that a collaborative approach in ECD interventions influences children’s language and literacy skills, and supports their learning. The aim of the study was to establish the levels of emergent literacy and language skills of the children pre- and post-teacher intervention. An exploratory quantitative and qualitative approach was employed with 20 participants from two ECD facilities, 10 from a middle socioeconomic (MSE) group and 10 from a lower socioeconomic (LSE) group. An adapted measure on concepts of print was conducted pre- and post-intervention. Oral reading and one-on-one reading strategies were presented to the teacher from the LSE ECD. Data analysis included descriptive and inferential statistics, and content analysis. The findings indicate no difference in vocabulary between LSE and MSE groups, despite the MSE group having better resources at their disposal. Furthermore, there was a significant increase in the LSE group’s knowledge on print concepts post-intervention. The teacher observed changes in the teaching methods and in the children’s literacy, confirming that low-cost short-term programmes and collaborations do influence ECD teaching and learning. The collaborative role of the speech-language therapist should support both parents and teachers of children in ECD contexts.


Socially disadvantaged communities; early childhood education; emergent literacy; language development; early intervention; collaboration, teacher instruction; Speech-language Therapist

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5785/35-2-898


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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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