The process of becoming literate begins at birth and grows exponentially until age 5, so it is critical to promote literacy development early and often. In communities where people value literacy, adults share words and books with children on a daily basis. When teachers work on a master’s degree in literacy, they learn how to encourage and inspire adults to share the value of words with children.
Understanding Literacy Development
One of the best ways to learn about literacy development is by getting a master’s degree in literacy. Through coursework, teachers can learn basics about language and print acquisition. For example, a teacher may learn how exposure to a print-rich environment at an early age can help children start school better equipped to learn. Teachers may also learn that the processes of reading and writing are interlinked. Literacy development occurs when children have a strong foundation to develop their imaginations.
Ways to Promote Literacy Development Early and Often
According to a report by the Connecticut state Department of Education, there are several ways to promote and improve literacy development in early learners:
- Establish a positive climate that supports children’s literacy.
- Use children’s play to facilitate reading and writing.
- Create a physical learning environment that promotes reading and writing.
- Make reading and writing a part of the daily routine of the classroom.
- Encourage children to read and write to one another.
- Read aloud to children on a regular basis.
How to Become a Literacy Leader in Your Community
One of the best ways to become a literacy leader is by earning a master’s degree in literacy. This degree can give you more credibility and may help you identify opportunities for literacy development in the community. Through this identification, you may be able to gather other community leaders to help support literacy in a variety of places. Some communities are placing books and literacy activities in laundromats where clients tend to be less affluent and often bring their children. Many medical providers have been offering books and literacy activities in their waiting rooms. Your education and experience in literacy development may help transform a community.
Literacy development is strengthened in children who engage in a variety of literacy experiences and interact with literate adults. Literacy must be a large part of the early childhood curriculum to promote literacy development as early and often as possible. The challenge is to understand how children’s literacy develops and to provide a curriculum that actively involves them in becoming literate. Early literacy programs must engage parents and community in order to support children in their literacy development.
Learn more about the LSUS M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction: Reading & Literacy online program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.