Language and Literacy Research: Multiple Methods and Perspectives

Authored by: Celia Genishi , Tamara Glupczynski

Handbook of Complementary Methods in Education Research

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2012

Print ISBN: 9780805859324
eBook ISBN: 9780203874769
Adobe ISBN: 9781135283315


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In this chapter, we present a range of methods for studying language and literacy that have grown out of changing perspectives on language, learners, and research. We include in our definition of language oral, gestural, and written systems of relating symbols to meanings, although we focus on oral and written systems. Thus, literacy is incorporated within the varied forms of language. We include in our definition of research investigations done systematically by researchers who represent multiple theoretical perspectives. Most of the researchers included, however, use qualitative methods and emphasize the importance of social context. In addition, the researchers are mainly academics working in colleges and universities, and some are teachers and students raising questions about their own educational settings. Most of the studies focus on learners from birth to Grade 12.

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