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Language and Literacy in Early Childhood

Ang, L; (2008) Language and Literacy in Early Childhood. In: Arnold, W and Powell, K and Mol, H, (eds.) Literacy in the Language Classroom: The Role of the YL professional in Developing Reading in Young Learners. (pp. 99-115). IATEFL YL SIG: Canterbury, UK.

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Acquiring language is widely perceived as a crucial tool in young children’s development. Current studies have shown that language, communication and literacy are fundamental to all aspects of human development, especially during early childhood; the foundation years of a young learner’s development. Riley has written ‘[I]ncreasingly, research findings indicate the importance of the first years of education. Children’s ability to use spoken and written language fluently and with confidence and for a range of purposes enables them to access at an early age what education has to offer’ (Riley J. & Reedy D. 2003, p.92). Indeed, the early childhood years serve as an essential foundation for subsequent literacy development. The phrase ‘emergent literacy’ is often used to describe the wealth of language and literacy that a child acquires in early childhood, well before compulsory schooling begins. Yet, while there is widespread agreement among educators that early childhood education plays a vital role in the consolidation of a young learner’s literacy, there is increasingly less consensus about when and how best to support children achieve their literacy potential. Taking into account current issues in language and literacy development in early childhood, this paper aims to do the following: 1) Firstly, to provide a brief map of the current debates and national agendas on literacy in Early Childhood Education 2) Secondly, to identify some of the assumptions which underpin current understanding of literacy development in early childhood 3) Thirdly, to explore examples of current national agenda of literacy development in the UK and Singapore

Type: Book chapter
Title: Language and Literacy in Early Childhood
Publisher version: https://www.iatefl.org/resources
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Language, Early childhood, Literacy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10024698
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