Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Seven Research-Based Ways Families Promote Early Literacy :: Global Family Research Project

Seven Research-Based Ways Families Promote Early Literacy
Global Family Research Project: 9.30.2017 by Margaret Caspe and M. Elena Lopez

The notion that families play a critical role in promoting children’s literacy development is undisputed. Literacy, or the ability to read and write, is composed of a variety of skills that range from letter recognition and phonemic awareness, to oral language, vocabulary, story comprehension, and motivation. 

These skills begin developing at birth, and a substantial and solid research base confirms that families play an important role in promoting them.1 Positive early-literacy experiences—whether at home, in early-childhood programs, schools, or libraries—set children on a trajectory to become confident readers by the time they reach third grade, which is an important milestone on the pathway toward high school graduation.

This review outlines seven practices that research shows families use to effectively promote early literacy. Woven through each of the seven research-supported practices are examples of how early-childhood programs, libraries, and other community-based organizations are empowering families and providing them access to knowledge, skills, experiences, and resources to support their children’s literacy development. Although many of the practices are broadly recognized and agreed upon, often families, educators, and librarians do not have access to the latest research substantiating the practices and to new information about how organizations can support them. Some of the ways the research and examples described here can be used include:

• Raising understanding and awareness of research supporting family engagement in early literacy.
• Guiding the design of research-based family literacy experiences.
• Supporting fundraising for family literacy opportunities.
• Sparking continuing innovation to support families’ and communities’ efforts to develop new ways to promote early literacy
• Helping in the development of indicators and benchmarks that can be used to assess and evaluate the success of programs designed to support family engagement and children’s literacy learning.

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