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"Hiya, Mum!" An analysis of pretence telephone play in a nursery setting

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date01/2001
JournalEarly Years
Number of pages10
Original languageEnglish


Children's knowledge of telephone discourse has been little researched, despite the inherent challenge of this mode of communication. Previous research has studied children's performance in artificial environments with children talking to adults, and has focussed upon children's deficiencies in telephone dialogues. In this paper we argue for the importance of pretence play in the development of discourse skills and present data gathered from spontaneous toy telephone talk in a themed pretence play setting. Evidence demonstrates sociolinguistic competencies displayed appropriately and supports Vygotsky's suggestion that pretence play is an important arena for learning within aspirational role realizations.