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The study emanates from the practice at the inter-section between subject-oriented activities and play in a preschool class. The focus on children’s early literacy development is grounded in two views: the bottom-up or phonics perspective (reading and writing primarily as a skill) and the top-down or whole language perspective (communicative function and meaning of written language). The aim is to explore how literacy activities are performed in a preschool class, specifically, how teachers and children interact in a literary activity where an educational TV-program is used as a teaching tool. Theoretically, the study is underpinned by a socio-cultural perspective on learning, and the data is comprised of video recordings of the classroom activities. The analysis focuses on how the interaction is framed by institutionally based perspectives on both learning and play. The results show that play is introduced in the activities, but becomes transformed into an interaction pattern akin to schooling, in which the phonicstradition takes precedence. The teachers solve the dilemma between play and work by framing the activity in a playful way, inspired by the TV-program, while the children’s work develops into accomplishing a task.
Keywords: preschool class, early literacy development, educational television program, teacher-child interaction, play
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