Storytelling as a Foundation to Literacy Development for Aboriginal Children


There is substantial evidence that Aboriginal youth face serious challenges in schooling, in general, and in literacy development, specifically. Thus, it is essential to design early literacy programmes that engage Aboriginal children and produce positive outcomes. In this article, the authors propose that such programmes include oral storytelling by teachers and students because it is a precursor to reading and writing across cultures and a traditional Aboriginal teaching tool. Moreover, storytelling fits with Aboriginal epistemology--the nature of their knowledge, its foundations, scope, and validity. The authors begin by reviewing a representative sample of the research that has examined the outcomes of early literacy instruction with Aboriginal children. Next, the authors describe Aboriginal epistemology, highlighting the role of the oral tradition. Finally, the authors describe an ongoing study aimed at supporting early literacy development through a developmentally and culturally appropriate oral storytelling instruction programme. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)

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Target Age
3-6 , 6-12 , 12-18
2000 Words to Grow , Current Research , Engagement , Skill Development