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most children make progress. Throughout their early years, children can consolidate their knowledge and skills as they recite songs and rhymes, play with the sounds of words, interact with the meaning and the print while people read to them and take them to the library, play at reading and writing, and get engaged with activities through television programs such as Sesame Street.

To prevent reading difficulties, children should be provided with:

·      Opportunities to explore the various uses and functions of written language and to develop appreciation and command of them.

·      Opportunities to grasp and master the use of the alphabetic principle for reading and writing.

·      Opportunities to develop and enhance language and metacognitive skills to meet the demands of understanding printed texts.

·      Opportunities to experience contexts that promote enthusiasm and success in learning to read and write, as well as learning by reading and writing.

·      Opportunities for children likely to experience difficulties in becoming fluent readers to be identified and to participate in effective prevention programs.

·      Opportunities for children experiencing difficulties in becoming fluent readers to be identified and to participate in effective intervention and remediation programs, well integrated with ongoing good classroom instruction.

Children need the full variety of opportunities and enough of each so that they are successful readers. Adults in different roles in society have different opportunities and obligations to make changes so that reading difficulties can be prevented.

TEACHER PREPARATION

Teacher preparation is fundamental in order to prevent difficulties in reading among young children. A recent study of more than 1,000 school districts concluded that every additional dollar spent on more highly qualified teachers netted greater improvements in



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