How parents foster early literacy (2006)

Lessons in Learning – February 1, 2006

Current and emerging research is creating a greater understanding of the importance of the preschool years for early language and literacy development, the authors of this paper note. Society is beginning to learn which activities, tools, or programs can be used in the home or in child-care centres to give young children an advantage as they move into literacy.

They offer a detailed list of parent-child activities that encourage literacy, including reading storybooks together; singing; visiting a library; engaging in conversation; and offering children access to writing materials. That list reflects the clear shift in the belief of what is required to assist a child’s literacy development, from incidental learning to directed learning.

This shift is also evident in the public sphere, where child-care, preschool and kindergarten programs have begun to move into directed forms of learning, the authors note. These programs have shown improvements to children’s oral language and their emergent literacy skills, particularly with children of low socio-economic status.

However, these programs can be costly to implement on a large scale. Therefore, it is crucial that the selection of tools and practices is based on sound research in order to ensure the maximum benefit to children.

Identifying children at risk of low language and literacy development is another critical step in fostering literacy skills in preschoolers. But traditionally, assessments do not take place until a child is well into the school years, when interventions are more costly and difficult to implement, the authors point out. Again, this underscores the importance of early assessment and directed learning in the early years.

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APA citation
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). How parents foster early literacy 2006. Web. 15 Aug. 2022 <>
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) (2006). How parents foster early literacy. Retrieved August 15, 2022, from
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