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    Vibrations in Place: Sound and Language in Early Childhood Literacy Practices

    Gallagher, MD, Hackett, Abigail, Procter, Lisa and Scott, Fiona (2018) Vibrations in Place: Sound and Language in Early Childhood Literacy Practices. Educational Studies, 54 (4). pp. 465-482. ISSN 0305-5698

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    Abstract

    This article explores how close attention to sound can help to rethink literacy in early childhood education. Through an analysis of text, audio, video and photographic data from a sound walk undertaken with a parent and a child, we make two arguments. First, contrary to skills-based approaches that abstract literacy from context, we show how literacy emerges from vibrational entanglements between bodies and places. We provide examples of how listening and sound-making unfold together in place, as sound moves between different material bodies, including children, animals, objects, buildings, and landscapes. Our analysis suggests that a wide range of sound-making and listening practices, not just those focussed on words, should be valued in early childhood literacy. Second, we demonstrate how sound also transcends bodies and places through its multiplicity, ephemerality and fluidity. We draw on the more-thanhuman semiotics of Eduardo Kohn to analyse how sounds operate as relational signs between human and non-human entities, using his ideas to move beyond humancentred, symbol-centred practices of literacy.

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