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The Meaning of “Early Literacy”

A young child’s ability to understand oral language and communicate through speech is only part of language learning. Rather, oral language development provides a foundation for becoming literate—understanding and using written language through reading and writing. Yet, most children are not ready developmentally to become readers and writers until they have reached school age. So what does the term early literacy mean? And what are the best ways for parents and other important adults to support young children’s early literacy development?

With these thoughts and questions in mind, review the following pages from the text and the articles below:

 Chapter 10, “Language and Literacy in the School Years” (pp. 329 – 344, up to the section on “Reading”)
Early Literacy (PDF; located in the Week 3 Learning Resources area)
The article, “Teaching Your Baby Sign Language Can be Beneficial to Both of You” (located in the Week 3 Learning Resources area)

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