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Supporting toddlers as competent story navigators across home and early childhood contexts

Amanda White and Irene Padtoc

Young children learn how to communicate with others through their everyday interactions and social relationships. In this article, we argue that stories about personal experiences are a valuable context for exploring how 1-year-old toddlers learn to engage with others across their family homes and early childhood settings. We demonstrate how Lexie, aged 16 months, communicated multimodally as she contributed to a personal story about her experience of eating lunch. Lexie’s competence as a storyteller was supported by a teacher who shared her cultural background and home language. Lexie’s story highlights the critical role of teachers in supporting story interactions in attuned and reciprocal ways that allow the competencies of 1-year-old toddlers as learners and communicators to be recognised and extended.

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