Using Linguistics to Scaffold Children for School and Promote Positive and Diverse Representation

Georgetown University, 2020. Linguistics.

This assignment comes from my General Linguistics summer course and was a collaboration with Sara Grzywacz. We created a proposal and preliminary mock-up for a preschool storybook that includes strategically designed questions and activities built into the text of the story to help caregivers of all kinds prepare their children for school, in an entertaining and appealing way. Below, I’ve shared our presentation for our design.

Though we were only able to touch on this in our presentation, our research is informed by work from Shirley Brice Heath (1982), Frederick Erickson (2004), William Labov (2006), and Rosina Lippi-Green (2012). The story we’ve used is Disney’s Cinderella (1950), and the text is from the Little Golden Books (1998 edition). The Spanish translation is by Sara Grzywacz.

This project represents the first stage of a concept I’ve been imagining for a few years and which I hope to fully develop as part of my career. It was so exciting to bring this out of just the ‘idea’ stage and into a tangible form with Sara’s collaboration and guidance from our professor, Natalie Schilling.

If you would like to see our full paper, please contact me!


  • Barb Wagner

    This is a very interesting concept. I’m sure it would help many families who are searching for ways to better prepare their children for success in school.