Agency and Meaning Making: A Participatory Study of Mexican-American Preschooler's Retelling of Culturally Relevant Books
This study explores Mexican-American preschoolers’ linguistic and cultural wealth while retelling a culturally relevant story. Participants included five preschool children enrolled in a dual language program in a private Catholic school. Preschool children were involved in a participatory investigation where they selected the culturally relevant text for read alouds. Then, they retold the story to their parent via Facetime or audio call. Findings indicate that preschool children demonstrated attention to detail and memorization, vocal tone and volume, pauses, questioning, rhyme, and use of gestures. Additionally, preschoolers used their imagination, inferencing, and interpretive skills to move the retelling forward. Children also made text-to-self connections including the games they play, home and family experience, their environment, and cultural experiences seen in text. This research contributes to current conversations related to the linguistic assets that surface when educators infuse their teaching with the use of culturally relevant books in early childhood settings.
Keywords: Retelling, Culturally relevant texts, Preschoolers, Mexican-American children