Education is a fundamental aspect of a person’s social, economic, and emotional developmental. Starting education early is therefore advantageous. Focusing specifically on early literacy; statistics prove that an early literary development can radically improve a child’s chance for a formidable career. Early literacy developmental practices have been taking place for many years now. Many different literacy programs offer statistical and other information to demonstrate the benefits of learning literacy early.
In true effect of the experimental learning and teaching; the instructors keep detailed records of the lessons taught and the grade improvements of the students. The other side of the early literacy learning is to have a control group that they are teaching without the focus on early literacy, thus being able to generate a detailed analysis of the children’s improvements and success rate. One high quality literacy program released details about their program and the outcome of the program on their students.
As stated by two authors, “Strengths in the overall program that services provided resided in… literacy links across the curriculum and throughout the day. ” (Arthur and Makin) In this same educational facility they had a record of which programs were the strongest and which programs did not demonstrate as well. “There were seven ECLLS [Early Childhood Language and Literacy Scale] items on which more than 50 per cent of the rooms observed received a high rating (six or seven out of a total seven).
These were as follows: furniture for routine care, play and learning room; room arrangement for play; encouraging children to communicate; fine motor activities; staff-child interactions; and program schedule and grouping. ” Depicting the importance of structured play times and environmental factors can have on learning. Also stating the “Four services received a high rating for the new literacy subscale, with most settings scoring 3 out of seven. In the settings with the high ratings staff were extending children’s literacy through the following practices: reading environmental print with children;
integrating literacy across the curriculum and throughout the day; engaging in literacy interactions with children; and promoting metalinguistic development” (Arthur and Makin) In this particular educational facility the staff used all resources to their advantage, from the simple hand washing sigh to other hygienic posters. The staff had set aside times for writing, play, and reading to help incorporate forms of literacy into all things done through the day. Through their curriculum and the observations of others this facility was able to statistically prove that an early start with literacy highly benefited these children.
When considering the statistics there are some graphs that support, and show that early literacy is essential to doing well over all. “The impact of Teacher Responsively Education on Preschoolers’ Language and Literacy Skills,” provides direct evidence in standard chart format with a control group and tested group. (American Journal p323) Showing a direct relationship between early literacy and developmental improvement, a second graph from the American Journal, the graph shows the improvements from the fall testing and the spring testing of the impacts of early literacy.
The graph shows the statistical improvement between the two testing times, providing direct evidence of the impact on the children tested. There are many facilities that provide the numbers on which the improvement was made; it spans all over the globe. Over all upon testing during the fall semester the control group initially started roughly at 3. 3%; where are the test group tested at a slightly higher 3. 4%. During the spring semester the control group tested lower still at print concept than the test group rising only .
28% from the initial testing scores. Reaching across the seas Australia has also been participating in the analysis of early literacy and its benefits on the overall aspect of children’s lives. In an article titled “Books, bytes and brains,” authors Hopkins, Brookes, and Green dive deeply into early literacy development and its impact on all areas of the lives of children. As stated in this article, “Literacy and numeracy are core life skills, the [acquisition of which has] profound consequences for individuals, families, communities and nations.
” Literacy is essential these authors believe to a child’s overall future, “Improving literacy in contemporary society has been amply demonstrated to improve live chances for individuals across divers domains including health, mental health, housing, educational outcomes, employment opportunities, income levels, involvement with crime, and civic participation. ” (Hopkins, Brookes, and Green) So many different areas are affected by a person’s literacy from the simple school grades to if they’ll end up in prison. Hopkins, ect al.
states that “Traditional kinds of literacy skills are measured in programs such as NAPLAN are based on an understanding of a skilled reader as someone who ‘locates, understands, and interprets written information in prose and documents – including manuals, graphs, and schedules- to perform tasks; learns from text by determining the main idea or essential message; identifies relevant details, facts, and specifications; infers or locates the meaning of unknown or technical vocabulary; and judges the accuracy, appropriateness, style, and plausibility of reports, proposals, or theories of other writers.
” With their definition of what an actual skilled reader is, it can seem almost impossible for a child to gain all those skills in their short school career. Therefore starting literacy early can give a child the advantage of gaining the firm foundation of those skills before they are being presented to them in the classroom. When starting the early foundation of early literacy there are some draw backs to the programs, or glitches that haven’t been worked out yet.
“Analysis of data from the rating scales, staff interviews and parent focus groups indicates that a number of areas required further development. Even for those settings that rated highly for literacy. These include, building on home experiences; extending children’s home languages and literacies; utilizing technology and popular culture; and integrating literacy resources and staff-child interactions in dramatic play. ” (Arthur, Makin) Improvement in these areas has been underway since the date of the article, in this program as well as others.
Implementing home language and literacies could have a drastic effect on the early learning literacy because many homes now in America are not solely English speaking homes, where most lessons in school or an Early Learning Academy to teach early literacy are taught in English. Tying into home experiences can help a child more associate the lesson being taught because they can incorporate the object, lesson, or event with words or effective language skills.
Even with the hiccups the early literacy programs have, there are visible benefits of the lessons they are teaching. Seeing the results of the early literacy programs is phenomenal, but looking at the other side research shows some negative effects of what happens when early literacy is not implemented. “Recent research shows that children who are ‘raised in a [non-academically] oriented environments have less experience using decontextualized language than their peers.
…These children may communicate more readily through using images, physical activity, and symbolic representation’. ” (Hopkins, Brookes and Green) With that research a child with the early literacy training entering the second grade for example has a better chance of being able to vocalize opinions or even understanding of a lesson than a child who has had no early literacy training. With education being at the heart of every aspect of life it is highly important to give children every chance to succeed. Word Count:1,244.
Courtney from Study Moose
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