Fostering Emergent Literacy in Preschool: Parent-Child Interaction
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Vocabulary development is of the utmost importance for pre-school aged children as vocabulary has long-term effects (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997). Research however has displayed that children often do not enter Kindergarten with a sufficient vocabulary and therefore encounter the Matthew Effect, which is the idea that “the rich get richer, while the poor become poorer,” in the effect that good readers continue to read well, while poor readers continue to deteriorate in their skills (Stanovich, 1986). Current research suggests that properly designed curriculums and family literacy programs can have a positive effect on children’s vocabulary development (Christ & Wang, 2010; McKeown & Beck, 2011). Read-alouds coupled with explicit instruction, specifically targeted vocabulary words, conversation with children, and authoritative instruction tend to promote emergent literacy (Neuman, Newman, & Dwyer, 2011; Nitecki & Chung, 2013; Shedd & Duke, 2008). With family literacy having such an impact on children’s emergent literacy and vocabulary, it is important to put into place programs and resources for parents and children to reap these benefits. A pre-school setting is an ideal place where children can come and benefit from family literacy programs through interactions with early childhood educators. Therefore, providing a guide for educating adults, coupled with lessons on how they can work with their children, is what is provided in this project. The lessons included with the workshop are modelled after McKeown and Beck’s (2011) tier approach and weekly plans, as well as adapted from Giorgis and Glazer’s (2013) teaching tools and book lists.