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Volume 88, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0360-9170
  • E-ISSN: 1943-2402


This article examines sociocultural research on early literacy development in the digital age. The last decade has witnessed a proliferation of informational technology that has fundamentally shifted how we think about language and literacy in the early childhood years. Despite these trends, narrow and reductive views of literacy continue to dominate federal policy and local pedagogy. Building on previous work regarding sociocultural influence on early literacy, this paper synthesizes lessons learned from the latest empirical work conducted using sociocultural approaches to language, learning, and human development. Analysis reveals three significant and interrelated foci: 1) the use of electronic and digital media as mediational tools, 2) the use of hybrid languages and mediational tools, and 3) the use of multiple languages, literacies, and discourses, especially of immigrant and nondominant communities. These ethnographic studies help us better understand the complexities of young children and adults making meaning in a digital and hybrid literacy world. The authors conclude with practical guidelines for educators, family members, and other adults involved in early literacy development.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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