Hidden worlds: Young children learning literacy in multicultural contexts

Kelly, Clare. 2010. Hidden worlds: Young children learning literacy in multicultural contexts. Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham. ISBN 978 1 85856 459 3 [Book]

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Abstract or Description

Hidden Worlds offers a new way of thinking about literacy, arguing that it is not children's experiences that count, but rather what they make of them - with support from adults and peers.

The book tells the stories of six young children from different cultural backgrounds who all attend the same nursery and are busily engaged in the process of becoming literate. Jamie's family have lived in the same area for generations, Asif's recently arrived from Bangladesh, Michelle's grandparents came to the UK from Jamaica. Each child's experiences of literacy are unique.

All the children drew on familiar home practices to make a link with the new world of literacy learning offered by the nursery. While some successfully found a pathway through, others struggled. Clare Kelly examines the factors that contributed to this process. She challenges stereotypes by penetrating the private worlds of literacy learning in families, demonstrates children's agency and creativity in drawing on previous knowledge to make sense of new experiences of literacy, and suggests ways that practitioners can support them. The book offers an accessible framework for identifying the complexity of literacy learning and the invisible influences, and challenges over-simplified views of literacy.

The book illustrates the benefits of taking a more individualised approach in policy and practice and is essential reading for early years practitioners, teachers with responsibility for literacy or diversity and inclusion, students, teacher educators and policy makers in the area of early years and literacy learning.

Item Type:


Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


February 2010

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

11 Nov 2010 12:59

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2014 14:06



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