Some years ago the formula „Early Ecellence“ was used in educational dicussions. Now we are a bit more down to earth with the term „Early Literacy“. It asks, why can’t children often read & write? In developping countries as well as in western industrial states.

„Early Literacy is a complex interdisciplinary phenomenon touching various aspects of childhood development“, states the Observer Research Foundation Mumbai in a recent report on „early literacy“. The Leipzig Conference in Early Literacy Education will discuss the whole field of reading and writing for beginners.

Pisaversteher is happy to host in Leipzig some profound experts on that issue. We will collect on this page in adavance some thesis and background-materials.

The panelists will at the conference present a learning case. This should be a project in which the social influencing factors will be discussed in particular.

1) What are the main social factors that determine the social development of young children in a country?
2) What measures must be taken to minimize any negative impact on social factors?

Every participant will send short three „theses“, we present here:

Lynn Stefano, director of family literacy project in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, stresses these points:

We advocate the following to make an impact in the lives of the millions of rural children who live in literate-poor environments:

1.       Village-based women to be  trained to promote early literacy, in order to visit families in their homes to play with and read to young children, and share their knowledge with parents and carers.
2.       Adult literacy programmes to include information linking early literacy development, health and nutrition, because children who are hungry or sick struggle to learn.   
3.       Campaigns and incentives to build the habit of borrowing  books and reading, undergirded by a supply of books in mother tongue.
 

Ivani C. Nacked, chief of the Literacy Institute „Instituto Brasil Leitor“, Brasil:

1. Early Years Libraries that introduce a different concept that recognizes the child’s perception of the World precedes that of the writen word.

2. The importance of training Educators and Parents to view their early years library as an holistic space which encourages the association of the act of reading with that of playing.

3. Empowering children and encouraging  teachers and parents to become partners in the process of language and literacy aquisition.

Karin Taube, Professor from Umea University and member of the High Level Group of experts in the field of literacy states:

„Make sure that all parents know the extreme importance of…

1) talking to their children and listen attentatively to their children´s talk already from a very early time.

2) reading aloud to their small children and to continue to do that even after their children have started to learn how to read

3) fathers´ as role-models in relation to reading and writing activities.“

Rammohan Khanarpurkar from Mumbai Research Institute stresses the complex frame of early literacy education:

Early Literacy is the first stage of formal language learning for a child at the pre-school level and in the founding academic years. Effective Early Literacy initiatives hold the key to his lifelong learning. By its very nature, this process is embedded in the linguistic profile and cultural context of the child’s surroundings. Early Literacy is a complex interdisciplinary phenomenon touching various aspects of childhood development. With its own theory and knowledge base, it is a significant academic subject in the western context.

Louise Chadwick, head of policy&research at booktrust, tells us these three points:

1.  The importance of very early access to literature – why we need to engage even before birth to have the greatest impact

2.  The need to break a cycle of inter-generational illiteracy and how this can be done – talking about our initiatives including Bookstart but why we are looking even earlier than birth with Storybump. Including how we can through books help in the development of the higher level reading skills – important in PISA

3. The importance of helping parents to develop their own skills and confidence around using books, stories and rhymes

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