Language and Literacy in Early Childhood

Reading a book is a way teachers and parents can develop literacy in young children. According to Otoshi & Westby (2014), illustrations, colors, and different activities play a crucial role in the process of teaching children to read and write. Moreover, connecting with young learners through eye contact, language, and feelings helps educators to reinforce literacy (Otoshi & Westby, 2014). Interaction is an important part of learning in early childhood, and various activities should be included in the process. Learning to read can develop imagination and teach children to be kind, respectful, and tolerant.

To make the process of storytelling more enthralling, educators can implement various expressive tools. Interaction with children while learning to read is very important. Whitehead (2009) states that it is essential to use gestures, voice, and facial expressions when reading a book to a child. These techniques keep the listeners engaged in reading and facilitate education through books. Moreover, they need to feel comfortable and secure during the process (Whitehead, 2009). Thus, parents and educators should find the right way of telling a story. It would also be beneficial to use warm-up exercises and say something about the story one is going to read (Whitehead, 2009). Reading a book with a baby should become an interactive and joyful activity.

It is vital to create a literacy-rich environment around children as early as it is possible. First, teaching staff should provide writing and reading activities in class (The Access Center, 2007). It can be, for example, playing, singing, or writing dictations. Furthermore, students should work both in groups and individually because it develops different skills. The teacher’s role is to reward all attempts at writing, reading, and speaking. Word games such as BINGO and Scrabble are also welcome. The more possibilities children have to interact with learning materials, the better results they will show. That is why it is important to arrange a classroom in a way that allows children to have constant contact with a written language.

When children have an opportunity to use their senses, it facilitates the learning process. Thus, when organizing the classroom teachers should include plenty of printed materials. It is a good idea to lay out signs, labels, dictionaries, and phone books in the room. This can help learners to understand the function and purpose of print. Furthermore, this allows learners to see connections between written words and a spoken language (The Access Center, 2007). Children with disabilities require special attention and should be provided with adapted learning materials. This can include textured books and the use of the Braille system. In this case, the teacher’s task is to give children access to education.

Illiteracy is still a burning issue today because a large number of people in modern society cannot read and write. Trischitti (2017) believes that reading is one of the most important factors that influence an individual’s well-being. Illiteracy is closely connected with the level of poverty, hunger, and crime. The ability to read exerts a significant influence on a person’s professional development, health, and salary scale. Trischitti (2017) also notes that reading is a foundation for other skills. Literacy should be treated as a basic human right and not as a privilege. Hence, children should not be deprived of the opportunity to learn reading. Teachers and parents play a crucial role in this process and should try to make it engaging and entertaining.

Literacy is a powerful tool for dealing with problems in society. People who can read get better jobs, earn more, and lead happier lives. The absence of this skill leads to poverty and makes it difficult to break the harsh social cycle. Therefore, parents should invest in the intellectual development of their children and provide access to books at home (Trischitti, 2017). The level of literacy in younger generations is closely connected to the number of children having access to books. That is why it is of paramount importance to create a comfortable learning environment for children and engage them in reading.


Otoshi, K. & Westby, C. (2014). How to incorporate books and extended activities into ECE. [Video]. Rasmussen College. Web.

The Access Center, (2007). Literacy-rich environments. The Access Center. Web.

Trischitti, J. (2017). Literacy is the answer. [Video]. TEDxACU. Web.

Whitehead, M. (2009). Supporting language and literacy development in the early years. McGraw-Hill Education.

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ChalkyPapers. "Language and Literacy in Early Childhood." October 9, 2023.