Children and Languages Today

First and Second Language Literacy Development

Željka Flegar, Ivana Moritz (Eds.)

by Newsha Ahmadi (Islamic Azad University, Iran), Mona Roudsaz (Islamic Azad University, Iran), Negin Doost Mohammadi (Islamic Azad University, Iran), Milena Mileva Blažić (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Smiljana Narančić Kovač (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Dunja Pavličević-Franić (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Ksenija Švarc , Ivana Trtanj (University of Osijek, Croatia), Jelena Vignjević (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Tihana Lukačić , Dragica Dragun (University of Osijek, Croatia), Dijana Vučković (University of Montenegro, Montenegro)

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Motivated by the need to bring together researchers involved in the acquisition, learning and teaching of the Croatian language and foreign languages to learners at lower elementary level, the recurring scientific conferences Children and Languages Today were established in 2001. At the time the Croatian academic community was short of a conference that was dedicated entirely to critical thinking and the exchange of research findings, outcomes and experience in these particular study areas. As it turns out, Children and Languages Today has served as an incentive for other conferences and meetings in Croatia that continue to promote research in the fields of first and second language acquisition of young learners.
Children and Languages Today: First and Second Language Literacy Development is the outcome of the conference held in 2017 at the Faculty of Education, University of Osijek. It is a collection of papers by experts on a wide range of topics that include developing literacy in teaching first and second languages and encompassing different fields of science and expertise, such as children's literature, bilingualism, metaphor usage, translation, vocabulary, narrative and orthography. This book hopes to shed light on and open up an array of questions in the area of literacy development.

List of Illustrations

Editors’ Preface: Children and Languages Today – First and Second Language Literacy Development


Part I. Language and Literacy Development

Chapter 1 Preschool knowledge of synonyms in the context of the complexity of the interlanguage field
Jelena Vignjević and Tihana Lukačić

Chapter 2 The connectivity between the interlanguage field and developing orthographic competence in early language discourse
Dunja Pavličević-Franić

Chapter 3 Acquisition and development of students’ vocabulary in lower grades of elementary school
Dijana Vučković

Chapter 4 The impact of teaching sight words on L2 literacy learning in young Persian learners of English
Newsha Ahmadi and Mona Roudsaz

Chapter 5 On the sequence of biliteracy instruction in young learners: L2 then L1, or simultaneous L1 & L2?
Newsha Ahmadi and Negin Doost Mohammadi

Chapter 6 Narrative ability of a bilingual girl: Case study
Ivana Trtanj

Part II. Literature and Literacy Development

Chapter 7 The systemic didactics of children’s literature
Milena Mileva Blažić

Chapter 8 When gaffers go to the secretariate: On the specific linguistic code in children's/YA diary prose
Dragica Dragun

Chapter 9 Character names in Croatian translations of Alice in Wonderland
Smiljana Narančić Kovač

Chapter 10 Read me: Children’s literature renaissance supreme and three cases of exploding delight
Željka Flegar

Chapter 11 On ravens, rings and spiders: Riddles and literacy development in children
Ksenija Švarc

About the Contributors

List of acronyms


Željka Flegar, PhD, Associate Professor at the University of Osijek, Faculty of Education, teaches and conducts research on children’s literature, media and drama in English. Her research deals with the intricacies and deviations of English language and literary discourse, most recently in the context of the historical development of children's culture, adaptation, as well as in relation to her theory of "childlike language" of children's literature. She has published papers in Croatia and abroad and is the author of the interdisciplinary book Theatrical Improvisation, Language and Communication (2016).

Ivana Moritz, PhD, Senior Assistant at the University of Osijek, Faculty of Education, teaches courses on English language and grammar. Her fields of academic interest include the interdisciplinarity of figurative language and cognitive science, particularly the cognitive grounding of euphemisms and the conceptual integration in language and mind. She has published a number of academic papers and attended academic events in Croatia and abroad.

language teaching, language acquisition, literacy, children’s literature

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Children and Languages Today

Book Subtitle

First and Second Language Literacy Development





Number of pages


Physical size



7 B&W

Publication date

July 2019