Recess as a Site for Language Play


  • June Countryman University of Prince Edward Island
  • Martha A Gabriel University of Prince Edward Island



Researchers in this study adopted an ethnomusicology perspective to explore the playground language and music-making practices of children at nine Canadian school playgrounds over a two-year period.  Using non-participant observation the researchers found that school children (ages 5-12) engaged in multimodal and multi-vocal play as they manipulated language, chanted or sang with rhythmic speech, and combined language play with gestures and kinetic movements.  The authors suggest a link between children’s out-of-school literacies (‘languaging’ and ‘musicking’ on the playground)—where children are active agents of their own learning—and children’s potential in-school literacies.



How to Cite

Countryman, J., & Gabriel, M. A. (2014). Recess as a Site for Language Play. Language and Literacy, 16(3), 4–26.