New technologies, new multimodal literacy practices and young children’s metacognitive development

This paper discusses concepts of learning through ‘collaborative multimodal dialogue’. It draws on an ESRC-funded study (RES-000-22-2451) investigating 3- and 4-year-old children’s encounters with literacy as they engage with a range of printed and digital technologies at home and in a nursery. The study goes beyond analysis of spoken language, giving a more complete understanding of literacy learning processes through detailed analysis of how children use multiple communicative modes as they experience literacy in different media. These experiences underpin metacognitive development and are crucial to children’s abilities to act strategically in future situations. Drawing on notions of literacy as social practice, this paper discusses how the advent of new technologies has introduced new dimensions into young children’s literacy learning, the implications of which have not yet been fully recognised in early years policy guidance, training or practice.