The literacy environment of preschool classrooms in three Nordic countries: challenges in a multilingual and digital society

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Hilde Hofslundsengen, Maria Magnusson, Ann-Katrin Svensson, Sofia Jusslin, Elisabeth Mellgren, Bente Hagtvet, Ria Heilä-Ylikallio
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Early Child Development and Care
eISSN: 1476-8275


This study investigates the physical literacy environment of preschools in three Nordic countries. The environments were assessed using an observation protocol in a total of 131 classrooms with children aged between one and seven in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The results showed that children’s books were common and accessible in all three countries. Half of the preschools had a writing centre, and digital devices were available in less than half of them. Multilingual children were present in 82% of the classrooms, but texts and books in the multilingual children’s first languages were rare. Taken together, the results suggest that children’s books were the main gateway to literacy in these preschools, while artefacts supporting writing skills and digital literacy were less common. The findings indicate that the physical environment in these preschools did not reflect the ongoing societal changes towards increased multimodal literacy.


Early Literacy, Literacy Environment, Multilingualism, Nordic Countries, Preschool Quality, Writing Centre


Last updated on 2020-19-01 at 03:31