From the day a child is born, their literacy is developing. Literacy is all communication including speaking, singing, writing, reading and listening. Different methods must be used in order to reach all areas of literacy development. One of the best ways to learn to access strategies designed to promote literacy is to get a master’s degree in literacy studies. The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared literacy promotion to be an “essential component of pediatric care” for all children. Choosing to teach literacy to young children can be a rewarding experience.
Reaching Young Children to Promote Literacy Learning
A child's very early experiences set the stage for the development of literacy. Therefore, it is important to consider where a parent and child spend their days from birth to 4 years old. An important strategy for literacy development is to make sure there are plenty of books in the home. For this reason, many states offer a program where they give free books to children at well-child doctor visits. Programs such as Raising Readers, as well as Reach Out and Read raise money to ensure that books are available for every child at each well-child visit. There are also programs where books for children are made available in hospital settings, laundromats and restaurants. In these locations, children and their parents often spend lots time waiting for their activities to begin. Having books available helps parents connect with their children and promote literacy development throughout their day. Some librarians include programs involving learning songs and sign language as a way to promote literacy development in an engaging way.
Master’s Degree in Literacy Studies
A master’s degree in literacy studies may help prepare you for a variety of strategies you can use to promote literacy development. Offering ways for parents and young children to communicate with the world can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Children as young as 6 months old may be able to sign proficiently regardless of language ability. The more strategies you can learn through a master’s degree in literacy studies, the better equipped you will be to help promote literacy development in young students.
Unique Ways to Share Literacy
Once you begin to learn about literacy foundations, you may begin to discover some unique ways to share literacy. Parents who receive free books are five times more likely to read aloud to their children on a regular basis. Reading aloud to young children is one of the most important activities for encouraging language and thinking skills. It also builds interest, curiosity and memory. Getting a master’s degree in literacy studies can help you develop strategies for getting books in the hands of children on school buses, in waiting rooms, in restaurants, in school lunchrooms, at public bus stops, in airports and during child-focused special presentations like puppet shows and science experiments. This input of available books at ordinary places could be influential in literacy development.
Literacy development in early childhood opens up children to new knowledge, vocabulary and ideas not often found in daily life or on a cellphone or tablet screen. Reading aloud gives children the opportunity to practice listening, understand story structure and develop their own creative ideas.
Learn more about the UT Arlington online M.Ed. in literacy studies.
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