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"Ko e Ako Lea 'a e Fanau Ta'u Nima 'i Tonga": Five-year-old Children Learning Language Practices at Home and School in Tonga

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dc.contributor.author Fonua, Siosi'ana 'Ungatea Taonganui
dc.date.accessioned 2008-07-30T02:23:01Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-26T01:14:12Z
dc.date.available 2008-07-30T02:23:01Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-26T01:14:12Z
dc.date.copyright 2004
dc.date.issued 2004
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/23885
dc.description.abstract This thesis examines the learning of language practices by five-year-old children in Tonga, in their home and school environments. Case studies of four five-year-old children, two boys and two girls, living in one village on the main island of Tongatapu, were carried out. The study focused on the interactions of these four children with their adult caregivers in their home environments, and their interactions with Class 1 teachers when they entered primary school for the first time. However, children's interactions with their peers were a significant part of their learning of language practices and therefore, these became an added focus of the study. The data were gathered through naturalistic observations, audiotaping and videotaping. The data was inductively analysed, using the computer programme NVivo. Adult caregivers in the children's home environments and Class 1 teachers in primary school engaged the children in similar language practices, such as “ui” (name-calling), ordering, questioning, warning, teasing and shaming. Adults initiated these language practices with the children but the children did not initiate the same language practices in their interactions with adults. However, there were some differences in how the children engaged in learning of language practices in the school environment. The teachers were engaged in different types of questioning and the focus on learning language was on form rather than for communication. There were differences in how the children responded to language practices initiated by their adult caregivers in their homes, and their responses to language practices initiated by Class 1 teachers in school. The children rarely stalled or ignored teacher’s orders or back chatted to teachers, as they sometimes did to some of their adult caregivers. Although the children's interactions amongst peers reflected language practices which they used with their adult caregivers, they were also engaged in language practices which were different when adults were absent. The children recounted their past experiences and told stories to each other only when they were amongst their peers. They also used more insults and strong words for teasing and shaming each other and their play activities prompted them to use some English. The thesis considers pedagogical implications of this study. Class 1 teachers in Tonga need to reflect on the types of questioning they engage children with in school, and be aware of the literacy and numeracy activities which children engage with in their homes, for they can be platforms for the learning of literacy and numeracy skills in early primary school classrooms. Five-year-old Tongan children may also benefit from peer and group work, since much of their engagement in language practices is when they are amongst peers. en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Children en_NZ
dc.subject Tonga en_NZ
dc.subject Language en_NZ
dc.subject Language acquisition en_NZ
dc.subject Language and languages en_NZ
dc.title "Ko e Ako Lea 'a e Fanau Ta'u Nima 'i Tonga": Five-year-old Children Learning Language Practices at Home and School in Tonga to
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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