Emergent literacy support in early childhood education in selected preshcools of Kasempa and solwezi districts of Zambia

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Zimba, Thomas M
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This study examined emergent literacy support in early childhood education. The study focused on preschool classroom practices, which operationally defined included the classroom environment, literacy instruction programme, instructional materials and regular classroom activities. The objective of the study was to find out the extent to which preschool classroom practices supported the continuation of emergent literacy in preschool children, particularly in Kasempa and Solwezi districts of Northwestern Province, Zambia.26 preschool teachers and 8 preschool administrators drawn from 8 preschools in Kasempa and Solwezi districts constituted the sample. A total 680 preschoolers were part of the classroom environments in which naturalistic observations were conducted.The data were collected through questionnaires for preschool teachers, designed to capture preschool teachers' knowledge of emergent literacy and classroom practices. Questionnaires were also administered to preschool administrators and these were designed to capture the schools' profile on their teachers, philosophy on literacy instruction and availability of teaching and learning materials. For the naturalistic observation of actual classroom sessions, data were gathered with the aid of a Classroom Literacy Checklist. Further data were collected using semi-structured follow-up interviews to fill in any gaps from questionnaires and observations.The findings were that all the preschools investigated had low literacy support as a result of limited language and literacy opportunities for the children and paucity of learning and play materials. Lack of the preschool teachers' appreciation of emergent literacy rendered them unable to fully provide environments and practices that support emergent literacy.
literacy programs--Kasempa--Zambia , Reading--ability testing--Zambia