Singing in semiotic assemblages. Pre-schoolers' use of songs in interaction

Marie Rickert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyzes toddlers' spontaneous singing of songs in non-formalized interactions in preschool from a language socialization perspective. Songs are highly intertextual resources which are interrelated with specific sociocultural contexts and/or communities. My analysis of instances selected from audio recordings and field notes from 4.5 months of ethnographic fieldwork in a
pre-school in the Netherlands shows that spontaneous singing can take on interactional functions and reflects socialized knowledge. Closely investigating song-choice and particular times when children chose to engage in singing, it becomes clear that the practice gains meaning as part of cocreated assemblages in which material objects, bodies and place stand in inter-relation with the
deployed musical and other linguistic resources. The way children draw on songs as a resource resonates with the sociocultural environment of the pre-school, where singing comprises a meaningful social practice in formalized interaction between teachers and children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100600
Number of pages13
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Early online dateJan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Language socialization
  • Pre-school
  • Semiotic assemblages
  • Singing

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