Tag Archives: Language development

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Do you have the most important job in the world?

Early childhood education, defined as the nurturance of cognitive, emotional and physical growth of children from birth through age 8, is inarguably the most productive and fruitful window for establishing the life trajectories of kids. This relatively short period of dramatic physical and neurological expansion, of psychological and emotional growth, is paramount in its importance for child development. Yet, that fact seems pretty much ignored by education experts and policy makers who spend an unconscionable amount of time, energy and money on engineering and assessing the results […]

magicbook

There’s Reading Aloud, and then There’s the Magic of Books

The results are in! Reading books to children is a really, really a good thing. Along with its academic benefits of increasing language and vocabulary strength, reading aloud with children helps them see the wonder that can be found within book pages. Lap reading may be their first encounter with the magic of books, print and […]

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Unquestionably CORRECT, Inarguably UNIQUE

There’s a new book out for mathematics teachers called What’s Right About Wrong Answers. Being a literacy person, and without yet reading this book (I know!), I immediately loved that title. The complementary roles of cautious accuracy and freewheeling exploration should be bound up in everything adults work to help children learn. That is certainly the […]

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The Daddy Rule

Though there is much to learn about tending to a new baby, I believe there is one hard-and-fast RULE a new dad needs to have learned by the day his little girl is born: Joyfully read with and constantly talk to her…every day… about everything…from her birth day forward. This directive is the only one […]

Co-translating 3

Take It Apart, Then Put It Back Together 

Today, Stefan Åge Hardonk Nielsen, an English teacher at Vonsild School near Kolding, Denmark, is leading his young students in translating simple English picture books into their native Danish language. These U.S.A. focused books were originally published in English for “new readers” of any age, but are deemed appropriate content for all children ages birth though early primary. Mr. Nielsen’s students […]

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Your “Mother” Language

This week the United Nations invites us to celebrate International Mother Language Day. I’m guessing most of us are unaware of this invitation, especially those of us in the U.S., where celebrating our mother language is a bit like fish celebrating water. Why celebrate something that seems omnipresent? Indeed, those of us who hail from the good ole […]

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Listening to Littles as They Learn to BE

Given the primacy of language in children’s development, one of the historically common ideas that we should all immediately scrub from our thoughts is… Children should be seen, but not heard. Perhaps “HOGWASH!” is the best response to such self-serving silliness. The premise that children should remain quiet until spoken to by parents and other adults […]

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50 Percent of Eligible Kids Not Ready for Kindergarten

That news appeared recently here in Louisville, Ky. However, that very percentage has been used this year to describe lack of school-preparedness in children across the United States. My first reaction was one that calls for some actual investigative journalism to answer the question of why Kindergarten classes, by and large, are not ready for half the students […]