School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Kenneth R. Tierce
language, nursery rhymes, phonology, pre-literacy, rhyme
Education | Elementary Education
Gildon, Wenonah Faye, "Language Development in Toddlers: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study of Nursery Rhyme use by Mothers with Their Toddlers" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3028.
The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to understand current mothers’ perceptions of their lived experiences using nursery rhymes to facilitate language development in their toddler enrolled in early childhood facilities in Northwest Louisiana. The theories guiding this study are sociocultural theory, theory of transmission, and theory of cognitive developmental stages. Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theory was related to this study through the social nature of language, the cultural aspects inherent in language, and the mother’s scaffolding of the learning experiences to facilitate language transmission. A mother’s understanding of the nature of her child and the development of a bond whereby the mother ensures the education of the whole child is associated to Pestalozzi’s educational theory of cognition. Piaget’s theory of cognitive developmental stages is connected to the study through a mother’s awareness in catching critical time periods to facilitate language development and the cognitive schemas needed to advance language development. The 10 participants contributed to the following research questions: (a) What are mothers’ perceptions of their lived experiences using nursery rhymes to facilitate language development in their toddlers? (b) What are mothers’ perceptions of the ways nursery rhyme usage affects their relationship with their toddlers? (c) What are mothers’ perceptions of the ways nursery rhyme usage affects their toddlers’ language development? (d) What are mothers’ perceptions of the ways their knowledge of nursery rhymes contributes to their experiences with their toddlers? The study employed the data collection methods of individual interview, participant reflective journals, focus group interview, and follow-up questionnaire. The hermeneutic cycle was utilized during the data analysis phase to determine meaning and reflect upon the text prior to the interpretation being made.