Language Play and Children's Literacy

Roger Beard,

Language Play and Children's Literacy
Language play occurs when people manipulate language in some way, often for fun and always for impact. Alliteration, unexpected vocabulary, phrases that deliberately provoke thought each have impact and appear in all types of writing, whether factual, literary or persuasive. Language play is evident throughout life too: from simple word repetition in the early years, to the rhymes of primary school poetry and the mischievous metaphors in adult journalism. Yet the importance of such play for children's developing literacy rarely has the attention it deserves. This book places it centre-stage. Using examples from real-life settings, and from the writing of children’s authors and children themselves, Language Play and Children's Literacy explores the nature of language and what it does. The authors explore language play from the past and from overseas, and look at the changes in language play brought about by digital and multi-modal environments. They show how language play may be used for different purposes, in early childhood, in children’s literature and poetry, in children's narrative and non-narrative writing, and in the use of grammar and punctuation. The book ends with an invaluable A to Z resource bank of readily usable activities that may quickly be adapted for use in schools and homes. Language Play and Children's Literacy celebrates the contribution of language play to children's understanding and enjoyment of how language can be used playfully, and sometimes provocatively, throughout their lives.

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