Discuss Why It Is Important to Identify and Intervene With Young Children Who Experience Early Language Delays and Poor Emergent Literacy Skills
The environment itself is also a significant factor. Children learn the specific variety of language (dialect) that the important people around them speak.
Language enables children to share meanings with others, and to participate in cultural learning in unprecedented ways. Moreover, language is foundational to children’s school readiness and achievement. For these reasons, a vast body of research has been dedicated to understanding the social-contextual factors that support children’s early language and learning. This work is also central to practitioners, educators and policy makers who seek to promote positive developmental outcomes in young children. Developmental scholars have long been interested in documenting the social experiences that help explain within- and between-group variation in children’s early language and learning. This work is anchored in the writings of scholars such as Bruner and Vygotsky, who posited that learning occurs in a socio-cultural context in which adults and primary caregivers support or “scaffold” young children to higher levels of thinking and acting. According to this view, children who experience sensitive, cognitively stimulating home environments early in development are at an advantage in the learning process. Research into the factors that promote positive language growth and learning in young children is central to addressing achievement gaps that exist in children from different ethnic, language, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Children enter school with different levels of skill, and these initial differences often affect children’s subsequent language growth, cognitive development, literacy and academic achievement. Children who exhibit delays at the onset of schooling are at risk for early academic difficulties and are also more likely to experience grade retention, special education placement, and failure to complete high school.
In the UK, at the time of writing, most children are recipients of a National Curriculum, and reading is taught using systematic phonics instruction. More importantly for present purposes, a considerable amount of data is routinely collected on individual children by teachers, schools and local authorities. An important question concerns whether these data be used to identify children ‘at risk’ of underachievement.
Fletcher J, Reid Lyon G, Fuchs L, Barnes M. Learning Disabilities: From Identification to Intervention. Guildford Press; New York: 2007.
Rose J. Identifying and teaching children and young people with dyslexia and literacy difficulties. 2009.