Emergent Literacy: Preschool Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices

Jenny Miglis Sandvik, Victor H P Van Daal, Herman J Adèr

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The present study reports on the construction of a research instrument developed to examine preschool teachers’ beliefs and practices in relation to emergent literacy. A 130-item survey (Preschool Literacy Survey, PLS) was completed by a total of 90 preschool teachers in Norway. Items were grouped into homogenous scales, and the relationship between beliefs and practices was examined using structural equation modelling. The structural model for all preschool teachers was compared in a qualitative way with the structural model for a random group of preschool teachers (n = 54), who had not participated in literacy-awareness training to look at whether the effects of literacy-awareness training could be assessed with the PLS. The main results show that teachers who took part in the literacy-awareness training were more homogeneous in respect of their beliefs and practices, that their beliefs were strongly underpinned by their beliefs about the specific role of the preschool teacher and by their beliefs about practices consistent with current research. Finally, it seems that the literacy-awareness programme affected the beliefs rather than the practices of preschool teachers. How a PLS can further contribute to research on early literacy in preschools and preschool teacher training is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-52
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Literacy
Early online date5 Apr 2013
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014


  • beliefs
  • early literacy
  • effects of literacy awareness training
  • emergent literacy
  • instrument development
  • practices
  • preschool teachers
  • survey


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