The article “Learning to read and write: Developmentally appropriate practices for young children” (1998) by International Reading Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children analyzes the children’s activities essential for their early development. Activities for several ages are presented, for example, for birth from the preschool period, for kindergarten, and for the primary grades. Much attention is paid to the acquisition of literacy skills since they allow children to achieve high literacy standards. As long as the literacy standards in the modern world are increased, it is important to teach children to read and write at an early age.
Infant and toddler years
In infant and toddler years, it is advised to provide a child with frequent eye contact, to interact face-to-face in a caring atmosphere. These activities become the foundation for healthy and successful child development. Children can play with such materials as crayons, cardboard books, and markers. A child’s attempts to pronounce words and to point at something should not be ignored. During the later preschool years, parents should model writing and reading behavior. They should also involve children in phonemic development activities, such as fingerplays, songs, games, and poems. Parents should teach children new words in order to expand their vocabulary. Daily reading of books would allow improving the child’s language skills and knowledge about the world.
In the kindergarten period, new practices should be added to the already applied ones. Parents should continue reading books to the children, also providing them an opportunity to write simple lists and stories. Children should have an opportunity to work and to play in small groups with other children. The curriculum should be changing, nonconventional forms of writing activities should be gradually replaced by conventional ones.
To my mind, all these activities can lay the foundation for literacy and for further intellectual and social development of the child. It is important that parents started the child’s development from the earliest stages, as in the very first months the personality starts to form. Parent’s contact and care as well as development activities are essential for the child, as well as playing in groups with other children. Summing up, the article provides a multilateral and detailed description of the developmental activities for development of literacy skills.
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), International Reading Association. Learning to read and write: developmentally appropriate practices for young children. (1998). The Reading Teacher, 52(2), 193–216.