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dissertation help!

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Hi everyone,

I am very new to this so not sure if i'm doing it right :unsure:

I am completing my final year of BA Honours in Early years and really struggling for a dissertation topic. I am really interested in Communication and language in the early years and was thinking of going down this route. I ma really struggling to narrow it down.

Can anybody give any suggestions, I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,

Amy

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Hi,

Well done on making your first post - I've moved you to the research and further study area so that you are easy to find!

 

I would think about going to settings and asking what they are doing to support CL - I would choose an age group rather than the whole 0-5 band as that would be really massive.

My view on research topics is that a really in-depth focus or comparison of how two different (types) of settings are approaching the same issue is more interesting and more useful that a overarching 'history of CL' - there is lots of scope there for using real evidence, demonstrating a range of research skills and there is masses of information you can use to 'ground' your writing in academic tradition.

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We have just started using Wellcomm and find it very interesting and are getting some quite surprising and useful results. It might be worth having a look...

 

Edit to say: I think I was thinking more of research than dissertation. Sorry!

Edited by Stargrower

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Thank you for your replies.

I have 3 ideas so far but not sure how good they are.

I was thinking of how c and l can be developed in the outdoor area within an early years setting/The role reading stories has to play in developing early language skills/Elizabeth Jarman approach-Communication friendly spaces-their impact.

Do you think these are worth doing further reading on to decide on a topic.

Thanks

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The risk in looking into recognised programmes such as Communication Friendly Spaces is that we find what we expect or want to find and it's difficult to objectively defend any negative findings (not to suggest you will). Other thoughts on the fly, and having chickened out myself at your stage - keep it manageable, involve the children and make them the centre and reason for your research. Very best of luck. H

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I thoroughly enjoyed researching the Mosaic Approach to observing and assessing. That's something that not everyone will be familiar with, unlike CFS. It does rely on communication from children, so that might be a consideration.

Edited by Cait
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Hi there. Welcome in, you've come to the right place.

You need to be quite passionate about what you decide as that has to keep you going in the dark days when deadlines loom and there aren't enough hours in the day!

If it were me, I'd go down the outdoor route, maybe looking at how language and interactions are often quite different outdoors. Perhaps something about the kind of language children use and practitioners model outside. Talking hotspots maybe? Sustained shared thinking outdoors?

 

Perhaps choose one of your 3 ideas, find a buddy, and jot down all ideas you have to help you narrow it down. When you get the buzz, you've hit on something you want to find out more about.

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I handed in a dissertation earlier this year based, in part, on communication and language, though I was fortunate enough to already know my focus. Here is the abstract for anyone who's interested (skip next paragraph if you just want to see my recommendations):

Music and language are inseparably correlated in infants’ social and cognitive development. Considerable amounts of time and resources have been given to understanding this relationship and what it may mean. Care settings therefore implement music for a variety of observed benefits and educationalists recommend its use in pedagogy, yet little is known about the role music plays in infants’ home lives or how main carers use it in everyday parenting. This thesis explores the aforementioned under-researched topic via six semi-structured interviews with the main carers of infants aged between six and ten months. Thematic analysis highlighted the natural ways in which mothers parent through music to regulate their infants’ emotions, give insight into their infants’ native language, and provide stimulating environments through song and sound. Limitations of the study and potential modifications have been acknowledged, and some recommendations for future research and practice have been made.

 

My recommendation really is, if you have time, wait until something ignites your enthusiasm - it will be vastly more enjoyable, easier, and better conducted if you're writing about something you're passionate about. Go on your university online library and read the abstracts of some articles on C&L, if you find one interesting read more of the paper, such as the discussion and conclusion. Search for what caught your attention and continue the process until you have a definitive subject area. I'd also make notes as you do this since there is honestly, and I speak from experience, nothing worse than remembering a quote or idea but having no idea where it came from, rendering it useless for your thesis.

Edited by Rob6692
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