Babies are born able to process language. In the early years, they become increasingly aware of the language we use and start to use it themselves. Reading, talking and singing with them helps to build their understanding of the language they’ll come to use themselves. Reading in particular helps them understand how text works and positions them to increase their language and literacy skills throughout their lives. This early phase, before children are conventional readers is called the Early Literacy Phase.
Why is Early Literacy Important?
Children introduced to reading early on tend to read earlier and excel in school compared to children who are not exposed to language and books at a young age (American Academy of Pediatrics).
Reading, rhyming, singing, and talking — beginning from birth — profoundly influence literacy and language development, the foundations for all other learning (www.healthychildren.org).
More than 1 in 3 American children start Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics).
Developing early literacy skills makes it easier for children to learn to read. Children who enter school with these skills have an advantage that carries with them throughout their school years. However, more than 1 in 3 American children enter Kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read (American Academy of Pediatrics). Reading is an essential skill for success in school and later in life.
- Excerpted from Raising Readers. Visit the site for more information.