Two major literacy reports were released this week. Interestingly, the areas addressed represent “bookends’ on the education continuum—early literacy and adult literacy.
Developing Early Literacy is the report of the National Early Literacy Panel. I found the findings on instructional practices that give young learners a leg up on early literacy skills of particular interest:
Instructional Practices That Enhance Early Literacy Skills
• Code-focused interventions: Interventions designed to teach children skills related to cracking the alphabetic code. Most code-focused interventions included PA instruction.
• Shared-reading interventions: Interventions involving reading books to children. These interventions included studies of simple shared reading and those that encouraged various forms of reader-child interactions around the material being read.
• Parent and home programs: Interventions using parents as agents of intervention. These interventions may have involved teaching parents instructional techniques to use with their children at home to stimulate children’s linguistic or cognitive development.
• Preschool and kindergarten programs: Studies evaluating any aspect of a preschool or kindergarten program. Ten studies in this category concerned one particular intervention (the Abecedarian Project). Other studies evaluated effects of educational programs, curricula, or policies, such as extended-year experience, on kindergartners.
• Language-enhancement interventions: Studies examining the effectiveness of an instructional effort aimed at improving young children’s language development.*
It was also very clear that there is a need for more on research on this critical period in literacy development. For the complete report go to http://www.nifl.gov/nifl/NELP/NELP09.html