Engagement in Play with the Internet of Toys: opportunities for young children’s language, cultural awareness and identity

Maria Dardanou, Sarika Kewalramani, Ioanna Palaiologou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

This study examines the role of play with the Internet of Toys (IoToys)
has on children’s language, cultural awareness and identity construction.
Building on Bakhtinian ideas of heteroglossia and multi-voicedness, we
investigate how children’s engagement with IoToys gives opportunities
for use of any language available and suitable for children’s play. Data
were collected with participant observations of children (age 3-7 years)
when interacting with IoToys in home-based and Early Childhood
Education (ECE) settings (N: Norway = 12, Australia = 16 and England =
13). Thematic analysis of the observations shows that children’s play
with IoToys offers a polyphonic platform for use of all languages where
multi-voicedness occurs in the relationships and interactions take place
in digital and non-digital play contexts. This study shows that play
contexts with IoToys foster children’s evolution to broader socio-cultural
contexts and suggests a more dialogical understanding of both the
pedagogical approaches in ECE and home, when children engage with
play with IoToys. Implications lie with ECE professionals to develop
children’s language, cultural awareness and identity through intentional
pedagogical integration of IoToys into their play contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Early Childhood Literacy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2022

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