This practical guide considers the research evidence that is needed to inform enlightened practice, and offers concrete suggestions and teaching approaches for early years settings and classrooms. This comprehensive book shows the ‘what,’ the ‘how,℉ and the ‘why’ of innovative, creative practice for teaching language and literacy. The author clearly examines how young children learn to use both spoken and written language, and shows how to assess, plan and teach for the effective learning of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Each chapter includes case studies, learning and teaching suggestions, and further reading.

The Emergent Phase of Literacy

The emergent phase of literacy

It is less obvious but equally true that learning to read is also a social activity. Long before there is any ‘story’ to consider, children's early experiences with picture books set the stage for the activity of reading. During these interactions, children learn about the mechanics of reading (how to turn the pages and proceed through a book), the pleasures of reading (curling up with a parent in a quiet space), and the interest of reading (the story or talk that goes on around the book).

(Bialystok, 2001:158)

It is absurd to imagine that four-and five-year-old children growing up in an urban environment that displays print everywhere (on toys, on billboards and road signs, on their clothes, on ...

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