Nova through home literacy environment which is provided

Nova AlfiLaili

English Education and Literature, Post-Graduate Program,
Surabaya State University

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Parents play a vital role in the children’s literacy
development because in a home environment, they become the first teacher for
their children. However, children who come from low social economic background
are usually judged to be less literate. It is because low social economic
children have low quality of living environments and lack of accessing
resources to facilitate their literacy activity. In this study, the researcher
will explore the literacy practices on children from low socioeconomic backgrounds
by describing the activity through ORIM Framework. Hopefully, this study gives
some suggestion about the role of parents in facilitating children’s early
literacy especially for low social economic background in order to manage their
children’s literacy practice.

Keywords: SES,
HLE, Literacy practices, ORIM Frameworks.


is considered as a popular activity which allows someone to achieve and develop
their knowledge.  Study of literacy has shown that people produce, use and interact with
texts in different ways and different social contexts. For children, families
are powerful influence on children’s early literacy because children will be
more literate when involve
in the literacy practices from many different places. Early literacy happened in children
ages 0-6 years old. In this stage, their brains cells grow up very fast. That
is why, stimulation are needed to help children develop their literacy skill.

To stimulate children’s
early literacy can be done through home literacy environment which is provided
by the parents. Home literacy
is a literacy activity which is done in home environment. It provides an
opportunity to develop children early literacy.  (Kirby,
stated there are three advantages when parents provide home literacy
environment to their children. First, parents may develop children’s ability to
read by providing some books in their social environment. Second, home environment
contributes to children pre-literacy practices, for instance phonological
awareness. Third, home environment provides pre-school literacy skill as
alphabet and numeracy.

Furthermore, socio-economic
background is one of the key factors influencing student learning outcomes.  (Department
Education, 2006) found that students from low social economic
background do not literate enough in term of literacy and numeracy. They may
come from the family who don’t interest enough in education. It means that students
who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds are usually said to be isolated in
literacy activity because of their low-quality living environments and lack of
access to resources such as books. This study can
be used to discuss on how parents can help to develop their children’s early
literacy especially from low social economic background.

Many studies have been conducted to explore about the
relation between literacy practice and low social economic status. The first
study is from (Barrow,
he investigates that socioeconomic status show effects on educational outcomes
that include test scores, and continue to affect the child throughout their
adulthood. The second study is from (Vechten, 2013) who found that
“HLEs produced in low SES families tend to be lack of resources to promote
literacy growth such as parental time, texts and education. But if teacher can
more effectively design and implement relevant interventions. It will be effective
if they are intense and frequent”. From those two studies, the result shows
that children from low social economic background are not highly involved in
children’s early literacy.

However, the researcher found that there
is a child comes from low social economic background, her name is Dyah, she
comes from low social economic background because her father is a snacks/drinks
seller and her mother is a housewife. Her parents’ educational level is Senior
high school and parents’ income around Rp. 250.000. If the researcher relate
with the theory of (Baker, 1986) in which parental
involvement in education is less frequent in Low SES family, Dyah has a higher
literacy skill which can be seen from the result of their achievement in a pre-school,
her behavior and in their social environment. Therefore, the
researcher expects to fill a gap, how
can children from low economic status have a higher literacy education. Are her
parents’ roles actively
promote and manage their children’s literacy practice? The researcher addressed the research question “what
the low social economic children’s literacy practices are”. The researcher will
describe in depth through ORIM Frameworks.  


2.1  Literacy as Social Practice

Literacy is
known as social practices, it can be seen from the events which are linked by
written or oral text. (Papen, 2005)
defines the term literacy as social and cultural practice because it includes
value, ideas and identity that shape the event in which literacy take a part.
Moreover, (Pahl, 2005)
stated that literacy
has been recognized as a social practice, it deals with something that people
do in everyday life, in their homes, at work and at school. In addition, when
we talk about practices, then, this is not just the superficial choice of a
word but the possibilities which offers for new theoretical understandings
about literacy (D. Barton, 2000). In other words, literacy
as social practice is not only about reading and writing a text. But it could
be audio, dance, film, pictures or anything that has a meaning. By doing
literacy practice, children are expected to improve their cognitive and social

2.2  Home Literacy

Home literacy is a literacy activity which is done
in home environment. It provides an opportunity to develop children early
literacy. In home literacy, parents play a vital role in facilitating literacy
activity. Family appreciates literacy activity when they provide literacy
material at home, they can interact with their children every time and provide
home literacy environment (Saracho, 1997).

(Pahl, 2005) also gives some
consideration how parents could support their children at home, the reading of
books became the centre of the strategies parents could be given to support their children’s literacy. Other ideas
include storysacks, which are bags with a book, and play items and
artefacts connected to the story which children can do at home. Moreover, (Saracho, 1997) stated that when
parents provides some books or anything which can be used to promote their
competence with print, children will be able to apply it in the real world. In
other words, as literacy sponsor in home environment, parents play an important
role for facilitating children’s literacy practice. There is no specific
activity to support children’ literacy practice, when parents spend their
quality time by having enjoyable time to interact and play with children help
them to develop their practices.    

2.3  ORIM Framework

ORIM framework
is known as a table which provides strands of literacy. ORIM is the
abbreviation from Opportunity, Recognition, Interaction and Model). (Hannon, 1995) is the first author
who set out ORIM Frameworks. He set it out to help parents how children’s early
literacy is provided.  As stated by (Hannon,
the first one is opportunity. Opportunity means the possibility of doing
something. Parents are a first key for children’s early literacy, parents have
to provide opportunities like material, time, space for their children
development such as: giving children’ books, writing material, CD of nursery

is Recognition. It deals with a condition when children know someone or something because they have
experienced before. In this term, parents are expected to know the lower and
upper limits of child’s ZPD. It can be done by listening their children talking
so parents will know how far their children’ ability.

Third, Interaction means keep communication to one another.
Children need their parent to sharing and supporting them in a real life
literacy practice. Hopefully, parents always keep in touch and care about early

Last, Model deals with the way parents show how literacy
practices in home environment. So, if children see their parents use literacy
in their daily life, their children tend to imitate them. That’s why parents
are expected to be a good model for developing children’s early literacy.

2.4  Social Economic Status (SES)

The term socioeconomic status refers to the
differences between groups of people caused mainly by their financial
situation. It can be measured through their education level, occupation and
income. Children who are from low social economic status are considered as
having insecurity feeling and isolated from their community.

(Baker, 1986)
argued that parents from higher social economic family are more involved in
children’ literacy practices than parents of lower economic status. A higher
education level of parents is positively correlated with a great tendency to
manage their children in higher education too. Furthermore, Factor which
influence children’s outcome is parent educational level. According to (Eagle, 1989) stated that the
parental involvement in education is less frequent in Low SES family. A low SES
family may not provide some activity to promote their early literacy practices
such as reading a story for them and etc. in other words, low social economic
family are considered as less likely to have the financial resources or time
availability to provide children literacy practice in their social environment.


In this chapter, the researcher describes the method and methodology
which is used in conducting the research.

3.1 Research design 

This research was conducted qualitative methods to explore what are the
literacy practices in low social economic children. Qualitative method used
because this method allows the researcher to describe in depth with natural
setting. Just like the way of qualitative research, the object of the research
will be analyzed qualitatively and explained based on the analysis. Qualitative
analysis is the analysis of qualitative data such as data from interview

According to (Mcmillan, 1993) “qualitative
research is defined as primarily an inductive process of organizing data into
categories and identifying patterns (relationship) among categories.” It means
that qualitative research focuses on understanding the meaning through words
and phenomenon observations rather than numbers. This research was qualitative
method because the researcher needs to describe what literacy practices of low
social economic children are.   

3.2  Participants

The participant
of this study is a family from low social economic background who has pre-school
children (Dyah). Her father is a sales and her mother is a housewife. In a
school environment Dyah looks better than children who come from low SES
background too.

3.3  Instruments

Observation sheet

The researcher uses observation sheet to observe and
reflect the literacy practices which is done by low social economic children.
The observation sheet is delivered in the form of table. The contents of the
table are ORIM Frameworks. ORIM framework can be used to investigate parent’s
role at home in relation with children’s literacy.


The second instrument used in this research is interview,
(Ary, 2002) stated that
interview is one of the most widely used and basic methods for obtaining
qualitative data from the participants about their opinions, beliefs and
feelings toward a particular condition.

3.4  Data

The data in this study are collected through
participant observation where the researcher only takes the role as an
observer. The researcher collects the data from the observation and conduct in
Dyah’s home.

First, the researcher uses observation sheet to
record all the activities happened in their daily life. Then, an interview
section for their parents is conducted in order to know more what their
literacy practices.

3.5  Data

This section describes the data analysis techniques
that were performed on the collected data in order to answer the research
question. All data were coded by the researcher by using qualitative analysis.
According to (Ary, 2002) there are three
stages to analyze qualitative data. The first stage is organizing and
familiarizing. In this stage, the researcher familiarizes the data through
reading and rereading the whole data. After that, the researcher organizes the
data through describing the data. Then, the second stage is coding and reducing
where the researcher decodes the data by looking for units of meaning that seem
to appear regularly and important, and reduces the data which are not
necessary. Finally in the last stage, interpreting and representing, the
researcher interprets and represents the data by explaining and reporting them

First, the data from the observation of what are the
literacy practices will be explained. Then, the result of interview is being
transcript. All the data will be analyzed and after that, they will be
delivered in the form of paragraphs. These are how the researcher get the true
result of the literacy practices on students’ low social economic status. 


The finding is explained in a
descriptive way to answer the research question, “what are the children
literacy practices especially in low social economic status?”

·      Result of the observation








Parents invite Dyah to go to “Pakal”

Parents Let Dyah to draw on the white
board in their boarding home.


Parents write number into a break line,
Dyah try to write it.


Dyah’s mother guide Dyah to watering

FY ask Dyah after they are from “Pakal”


Parents take paper and glass. Fy gives
an example to make a circle from a glass, Dyah try to imitate it.

Parents show Video of “ALI” cartoon,
in which the video talks about diligent children.
e.g: after reading book, it should be
put in appropriate place.


From the result of the
observation, the researcher found some literacy practices which is done by FY
and S as Dyah’s parents when spending one day with them. They admit that they
did not know the literacy practices but the way they treat Dyah belongs to
literacy practice.


It deals with parents’
involvement like providing material, time, space for their children
development. Parents provide Dyah’ literacy practices in term of environment
and writing. which can be seen when FY sell drinks and snacks in the park,
there is a big plane miniature, S introduce the miniature and let Dyah touch.  Then, their parents provide many ex-papers in
their boarding house.  Dyah looks


It deals with a
condition when
children know someone or something because they have experienced before. In
this term, parents only provide a book by making a break to shape alphabets,
number, shape etc. then Dyah has to write it by following the break line which
is provided before.  


It is about parents’
communication to children. The researcher observes that to make an interaction,
her mother try to link with daily life activity. e.g: watering flower, sweeping,
etc. Then, FY try to interact with Dyah by asking their experience about a big
plane in park which belong to interaction. Dyah answer it happily.  


It deals with the way parents show literacy
practice in home environment. Parents show cartoon video in which it has a
moral value. For instance: when they show “Ali” which is described as diligent
people. Parents
show to Dyah how to put in a appropriate place by saying

rapikan, ali saja habis baca di taruh di tempatnya rapi”
and Dyah imitate it.

Another simple activity
which belong to “model” is Parents take paper and glass. Fy gives an example to
make a circle from a glass, Dyah try to imitate it.

·      Result of the interview from


Parents’ Name




FY (Father)









1.      What
do you know about literacy activity?

“Saya ndak tau
mbak literasi itu apa, pokoknya saya mengajari anak saya biar besok lebih baik
ndak kayak saya”


FY and S said that he never known about the term literacy. But the researcher
found that their activity which is done for their child (Dyah) indicates as
literacy practices.  FY did not aware if
they have done a literacy practice; they just want their child (Dyah) better
than them in term of education and economic status. Hopefully, Dyah has a
bright future.

2.      In
your opinion, does the ability of low socioeconomic children lower than high
socio economic background?

“ya ngga mesti mbak, biasaya malah orang kaya
kaya itu sibuk sampe lupa ngurursi anaknya. Saya ga punya uang yang penting
anak saya bisa seperti teman-temannya yang pinter. Pokoknya ga dilihat dr
materi , saya ga punya uang mbk tapi saya membelikan buku bekas yg masih bisa d


and S said no, they said that it depends on parents’ role to help on developing
their community. Sometimes, parents from high social economic have less time
availability to provide their children by controlling their education. In his
opinion, although their family belong to low social economic status and did not
have enough money to buy books for facilitating Dyah in literacy activity, they
can ask Dyah to go in a place based on nature. The important thing is help Dyah
getting something new.

3.       Is your child involved in any after-school
activities (academic and non-academic)? 
If so, what activities?  If not,
why is your child not involved?

“gak pake les”an
mbak.. saya ajari sendiri.. gada biaya nya.. kalau membaca ngitung saya masih
mampu. Trus kalo nari itu karna saya ajak jualan di tempat saya kan tiap minggu
itu digunakan sanggar tari. Anak saya lihat kegiatannya. Kalau ada biaya paleng
ya saya ikutkan mbak”


a Sunday morning, FY always sells drink and snacks near with “Istikindah” Dance
Studio. FY and S aware that Dyah really interest in dancing (non-academic
activity). But they don’t have much money to help Dyah develop her talent. As a
result, while they sell, they also ask Dyah to see dancing activity.   

4.      What
challenges do you face in helping your child achieve?

“kesulitannya ya
itu, saya gak punya uang buat beli buku. Belajarnya ya dari majalah bekas sama
baca dari bungkus makanan makanan kecil yang saya jual itu dibantu sama


of the challenges that they face is about in budget. They don’t have some money
to provide well academic support but they have time to spend by learning 



The finding was
recorded that parents did a literacy practices in line with a ORIM Frameworks
which has been provided by the researcher. Dyah’s parents provide her children’s
early literacy in term of providing time and simple material. This finding was
in line with (Saracho, 1997) who stated that family appreciates literacy activity when
they provide literacy material at home, they can interact with their children
every time and provide home literacy environment.

Family literacy will
also works well for those who agree to appreciate and involve with them.  It can be seen when FY and S did not know
about what actually “literacy” is, their activity which is observed by the
researcher through ORIM Framework in their daily life indicate they have done
literacy as social practice. As stated (Pahl, 2005)
literacy has been recognized
as a social practice is something that people do in everyday life, in their
homes, at work and at school which has meaning. Even though they are from low
social economic status, they still think about their children literacy
development by providing simple activity to promote literacy in their home. It
contradicts with (Baker, 1986) argue that parents
from higher socioeconomic backgrounds are to be involved in education than
parents of lower socioeconomic status. A higher education level of parents is
positively linked their children’s placement in higher education level and
actively manage their children’s education.



Home literacy is really important
because it provides an opportunity to develop children early
literacy. In home literacy, parents play a vital role in
facilitating literacy activity
especially for children in pre-school ages. Pre-school ages happened in
children ages 0-6 years old. In this stage, brain cells of children grow up
very fast as a result stimulation are needed to help children develop their
literacy skill. For parents from low social economic background, if there is no
much budget to provide material, they can do a simple activity like gardening,
going to park, etc. In conclusion,
as long as their parents aware about early literacy for their children by
facilitating them in literacy activity, it will give a positive impact to both
low SES and high SES children.


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