New Report: Developing Early Literacy

Posted by on January 12, 2009

Developing early literacy

Learning to read and write opens doors to progress and prosperity across a lifetime. The years before kindergarten are a particularly fertile and profitable time to prepare young children to read and learn by teaching them essential literacy skills. The challenge of helping all children become successful readers requires early teaching, using home and school instruction built upon proven research and effective practices. This is the message being delivered as the National Institute for Literacy releases findings from, “Developing Early Literacy: Report of the National Early Literacy Panel, A Scientific Synthesis of Early Literacy Development and Implications for Intervention.” The National Early Literacy Panel’s (NELP) report serves as the basis of several powerful, research-based recommendations to the early childhood community –educators, caregivers, Head Start providers, and parents — on promoting the foundational skills of life-long literacy. Some of the key findings of the report reveal the best early predictors of literacy, which include alphabet knowledge, phonemic awareness, rapid naming skills, writing (such as writing one’s name), and short-term memory for words said aloud. Instruction on these skills may be especially helpful for children at risk for developing reading difficulties. More complex oral language skills also appear to be important.

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