Beyond transparency: more‐than‐human insights into the emergence of young children's language

HACKETT, Abigail (2022). Beyond transparency: more‐than‐human insights into the emergence of young children's language. Literacy, 56 (3), 244-252.

Hackett-BeyondTransparency(VoR).pdf - Published Version
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (202kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Open Access URL: (Published version)
Link to published version::
Related URLs:


    This paper draws on 3 years of ethnographic research with young children and their families in a northern English town, employing a more-than-human lens to pay attention to what, beyond humans, might be involved in the emergence of children's literacies. The paper focuses on the role of the body and place in the emergence of young children's vocalisations and talk. In particular, the paper rethinks the dominant assumption that children's language is primarily for the purpose of transparently conveying meaning. It does this by drawing on posthuman and decolonial scholarship on childhood and language, and particularly on the work of Glissant on opacity and difference, in order to interrogate the relationship between expression, understanding and power. Thus, the paper outlines how an understanding of the relationship between body, place and talk might inform pedagogy by highlighting the need for space to embrace divergent, complicated, irrational, playful and non-functional language practices in early childhood, rather than looking for rapid, straight line development.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Education; 1301 Education Systems; 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy; 1303 Specialist Studies in Education
    Identification Number:
    Page Range: 244-252
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2022 12:12
    Last Modified: 26 Sep 2022 12:12

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item


    Downloads per month over past year

    View more statistics