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The Literacy Environment of Preschool Classrooms in Three Nordic Countries: Challenges in a Multilingual and Digital Society

Journal article
Authors H Hofslundsengen
M Magnusson
A-K Svensson
S Jusslin
Elisabeth Mellgren
B E. Hagtvet
R Heilä-Ylikallio
Published in Early Child Development and Care
Volume 190
Issue 3
Pages 414-427
ISSN 0300-4430
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 414-427
Language en
Keywords early literacy; preschool quality; literacy environment; Nordic countries; writing centre; multilingualism
Subject categories Pedagogy, Didactics, Learning, Pedagogical Work


This study investigates the physical literacy environment of preschools in three Nordic countries. The environments were assessed using an observation protocol in a total of 131 classrooms with children aged between one and seven in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The results showed that children’s books were common and accessible in all three countries. Half of the preschools had a writing centre, and digital devices were available in less than half of them. Multilingual children were present in 82 per cent of the classrooms, but texts and books in the multilingual children’s first languages were rare. Taken together, the results suggest that children’s books were the main gateway to literacy in these preschools, while artefacts supporting writing skills and digital literacy were less common. The findings indicate that the physical environment in these preschools did not reflect the ongoing societal changes towards increased multimodal literacy.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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