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      How Reading Books Fosters Language Development around the World

      , , ,
      Child Development Research
      Hindawi Limited

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          Abstract

          Research on literacy development is increasingly making clear the centrality of oral language to long-term literacy development, with longitudinal studies revealing the continuity between language ability in the preschool years and later reading. The language competencies that literacy builds upon begin to emerge as soon as children begin acquiring language; thus, the period between birth and age three also is important to later literacy. Book reading consistently has been found to have the power to create interactional contexts that nourish language development. Researchers, pediatricians, and librarians have taken notice of the potential for interventions designed to encourage parents to read with their children. This article reviews research on the connections between language and later reading, environmental factors associated with language learning, and interventions developed in varied countries for encouraging book use by parents of young children.

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          The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills.

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            Socioeconomic status and the developing brain.

            Childhood socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with cognitive achievement throughout life. How does SES relate to brain development, and what are the mechanisms by which SES might exert its influence? We review studies in which behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods have been used to characterize SES disparities in neurocognitive function. These studies indicate that SES is an important predictor of neurocognitive performance, particularly of language and executive function, and that SES differences are found in neural processing even when performance levels are equal. Implications for basic cognitive neuroscience and for understanding and ameliorating the problems related to childhood poverty are discussed.
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              Child development and emergent literacy.

              Emergent literacy consists of the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are developmental precursors to reading and writing. This article offers a preliminary typology of children's emergent literacy skills, a review of the evidence that relates emergent literacy to reading, and a review of the evidence for linkage between children's emergent literacy environments and the development of emergent literacy skills. We propose that emergent literacy consists of at least two distinct domains: inside-out skills (e.g., phonological awareness, letter knowledge) and outside-in skills (e.g., language, conceptual knowledge). These different domains are not the product of the same experiences and appear to be influential at different points in time during reading acquisition. Whereas outside-in skills are associated with those aspects of children's literacy environments typically measured, little is known about the origins of inside-out skills. Evidence from interventions to enhance emergent literacy suggests that relatively intensive and multifaceted interventions are needed to improve reading achievement maximally. A number of successful preschool interventions for outside-in skills exist, and computer-based tasks designed to teach children inside-out skills seem promising. Future research directions include more sophisticated multidimensional examination of emergent literacy skills and environments, better integration with reading research, and longer-term evaluation of preschool interventions. Policy implications for emergent literacy intervention and reading education are discussed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Child Development Research
                Child Development Research
                Hindawi Limited
                2090-3987
                2090-3995
                2012
                2012
                : 2012
                :
                : 1-15
                Article
                10.1155/2012/602807
                fc9e1af5-b4cb-4717-87f9-589e3b5efaeb
                © 2012

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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