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Promoting Early Language and Literacy Development

April 30, 2011 Comments off

Promoting Early Language and Literacy Development (PDF)
Source: Zero to Three

Positive early language and literacy development can give children a window to the world, helping to ensure that each child can seize his or her potential for future success. During the first 3 years of life, the brain undergoes its most dramatic development and children acquire the ability to think, speak, learn, and reason. When this early development is not nurtured, the brain’s architecture is affected and young children begin to fall behind. Many low-income children arrive at school already behind in communication and language, a disadvantage that only persists over time.

Parents and early childhood professionals play a critical role in the development of a child’s early literacy skills. By supporting them in this role, we reap significant dividends throughout a child’s entire scholastic career.

The literacy gap hinders our nation’s ability to create the workforce needed to compete in the global market and ensure future prosperity. Sound policy should be grounded in the fact that young children’s language and literacy development begins long before they walk through the door of a kindergarten classroom. The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides an opportunity to begin early in addressing the lagging literacy skills of students in the United States, through sound policy and practice.

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