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Digital Literature for Children

Texts, Readers and Educational Practices


Edited By Mireia Manresa and Neus Real

This book is the result of a research project carried out by the research group GRETEL from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) on children’s and adolescents’ digital literary education. It offers some of the outcomes of this project and combines them with other contributions from internationally renowned authors to address the three pillars of digital literary reader training: the texts themselves, the responses they generate in children and adolescents and digital reading practices at home and at school.
This work is intended as a contribution to international research on digital literature for children and young adults and its impact on the teaching practices of literary education. Its main goals are to guide the inclusion of this training in classrooms and to investigate strategies for accessing multimedia, interactive and hypertextual messages and products that form a part of fictional products today.
The volume begins by contextualising electronic literary reading and specifying the new research framework of digital literature for children and adolescents. It then provides an overview of the relationships between the electronic medium and children and young adult production on the one hand, and of the digital works and their features on the other, to reflect on their potential for literary education. Subsequently, it tackles the effective contact of children and adolescents with this literature in order to determine what happens when different electronic works are made available to children readers without eliminating printed literature from their environment. Finally, the floor is given to two leading creators.
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iPads, Emergent Readers and Families


Cristina ALIAGAS1

The University of Sheffield


Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


The study of children’s reading practices within the family context has a lengthy tradition in studies on early literacy as well as in The New Literacy Studies, a line of research that draws from the anthropology of social practices and sociolinguistics. Within these lines of research, shared adult-child reading has been one of the most widely studied phenomena, in particular bedtime story reading. From Heath (1983) and others (Colomer 2005; Wells 1986) we know that the practice of telling and reading stories is an activity that is part of family life and constitutes a space for literary socialisation through which children develop coding-decoding skills in the printed word (Sulzby 1986) while simultaneously developing their literary competence. By means of these interactions they become familiar with book conventions (e.g., authorship, title versus text, chapter structure) and the mechanisms of literary narration (e.g., literary genres, narrator, illustration-text relationship). We also know that the greater part of the learning processes that occur in these interactions are stimulated by the verbal actions of the adult (Kucirkova, Sheehy, and Messer 2014), who poses questions to the child, responds to those verbalised by the child and constructs “helps” to progress in the interpretation of the narration. ← 155 | 156 →

In this chapter we reflect on the transformations that the practice of shared adult-child reading has recently undergone...

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