The development of early literacy is fostered through active engagement as children develop an understanding of how oral and written language support communication. Children develop language when they are provided opportunities to communicate their thinking, feelings and experiences; develop relationships with peers and adults; and when encouraged to explore their natural curiosities. Authentic opportunities to develop literacy are present in everyday activities such as playing, reading, storytelling, grocery shopping, attending to environmental print, and through dialogue. Providing children with relevant and engaging literacy experiences promote language development and positive attitudes towards language learning.
The main goals of English language arts education are to prepare students to:
- use oral language to communicate thoughts, feelings, experiences, ideas, opinions, values, beliefs, tradition and stories
- use reading and visual media (television, advertising, symbols, drama, drawings, sculptures and paintings) to access ideas, views and experiences of others
- communicate thinking and knowledge through writing text and creating visual media
(television, advertising, symbols, drama, drawings, sculptures and paintings)
- commit themselves to lifelong learning and develop a love of language
- develop a greater world view while building intercultural awareness
- become language literate adults, using the English language to contribute to society
Alberta. Alberta Learning. Alberta Program of Studies for English Language Arts K-9. Edmonton: Alberta Education, 2000. Print.
In Early Learning, we continually work towards meeting the important goals of English language arts education by providing opportunities for children to develop literacy in all aspects of the PreK / K program. Literacy development does not happen in isolation but through play, inquiry, routines, and authentic relationships children learn how to use language to make sense of their world.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP?
Take advantage of every day opportunities to read, write and speak with your child:
- Read and reread new and familiar, books with your child
- Draw attention to familiar everyday printed words on packaging (eg. milk)
- Make a shopping list together (eg. “What sound do you hear at the beginning or apple?”)
- Notice letters on a walk (eg. “Looks at the S-T-O-P sign. What does it say?”)
- Play “I Spy” (eg. “I spy a vegetable that starts with …..”)
- Play rhyming games (eg. “Do you know a word that rhymes with bat?”)
- Sing rhyming songs or rhymes (eg. Down by the Bay)
- Write out your child’s story and reread it together
- Encourage your child to draw and/or write their ideas
- Look at family photos and retell the “story”
- Talk with your child
- Play with your child
Trehearne, M. (2000). Nelson Language Arts. [Scarborough, Ont.]: Nelson Thomson Learning.