Aistear: The social context of play and language development


  • Elaine Cresham DCU


play, Aistear, language, DLD, communication


The social context of ​Aistear​ creates an inclusive learning environment in which pupils are free to communicate with each other in a natural setting.  This article reports findings from a small scale study in a multigrade Junior and Senior Infant class in a rural school. The language development opportunities presented by the social context of Aistear ​were explored using a mixed methods action research approach, with data collected by recording observations of play, researcher’s reflections and quantitative measures including topic specific vocabulary checklists. Findings from the study included identification of the benefits of the social context of ​Aistear ​for target pupils experiencing language difficulties.​​ The language development opportunities created by social interaction with both peers and adults were noted in the findings. 



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How to Cite

Cresham, E. (2021). Aistear: The social context of play and language development. REACH: Journal of Inclusive Education in Ireland, 34(2). Retrieved from