Welcome to a new season of The Buzz!
Over the next few months, FamilySPEAK will be focusing on Early Language & Literacy. With much talk in the news about the 30 million word gap, the grade level reading campaign, and universal preschool, this is an important topic for children, parents, families, and caregivers. As the Early Childhood Council for El Paso County, Alliance for Kids believes that building early language and literacy skills is foundational for not only future school success, but life success!
So how do we as parents and early care and education providers provide high quality language environments that help kids grow and thrive? To answer this question, we will be referring to the work of Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor at Temple University, and her team of researchers who created six evidenced-based principles of language learning that support reading.
- Children learn what they hear most
- Children learn words for things and events that interest them
- Interactive and responsive environments build language learning
- Children learn best in meaningful contexts
- Children need to hear diverse examples of words and language structures
- Vocabulary and grammatical development are reciprocal processes
Maybe you are thinking, “Those seem pretty simple,” or “What are reciprocal processes?” To help you, The Buzz will feature a different principle each month to explain what it means, to give you tips on how to start using it with your child every day, and to provide a few video examples of what it looks like in action. We will break it down into age groups for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary school to offer practical strategies for every age and stage.
As you look forward to next month’s topic, Children Learn What They Hear Most, start recalling moments of your own childhood.
- What did you hear the most?
- What did the adults in your life talk about?
- What didn’t they talk about?
- How does your experience affect how you talk with your children?