During the first months and years of life, children’s experiences with language and literacy can begin to form a basis for their later reading success. The ideal time to begin sharing books with children is during babyhood, even with children as young as six weeks. Research consistently demonstrates that the more children know about language and literacy before they arrive at school, the better equipped they are to succeed in reading. Main accomplishments include:

  • oral language skills and phonological awareness,

  • motivation to learn and appreciation for literate forms,

  • print awareness and letter knowledge.

These language and literacy accomplishments are achieved best through activities that are integrated across different developmental areas, that is, cognitive development, fine and gross motor development, social and emotional development, and language development.

Given the opportunity, young children develop vocabulary, other language skills, and basic knowledge about the world around them. They know what books are and how they work. They are enthusiastic about reading and are beginning to explore being readers and writers. They have opportunities to learn about letters and the structure of words.

Vocabulary, language skills, and knowledge about the world are acquired during interesting conversations with responsive adults. Talking about books, about daily happenings, about what happened at day care or at work not only contributes to children’s vocabularies, but also increases their ability to

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