From the moment they are born, babies strive to communicate with the world around them. It begins with the, crying and bawling and gurgling, and, as a child gets older, becomes more refined as they pick up words and begin using the power of language. Literacy gives any individual an added advantage when they are communicating. Defined as “the ability to read, write, communicate and comprehend”, literacy allows for heightened communication and an exposure to mature, varied concepts.
Many think that, in childhood, literacy begins when a child is able to recognise, read and write simple words. However, like in all areas of development, literacy happens in stages. A child who is literate may be able to come home and write her name or read his favourite picture book. A child who is in the pre-literate or early literate stage is becoming comfortable with oral communication, developing a basic phonological awareness and being introduced to letters of the alphabet and the sounds associated with them.
Laying The Foundation For Literacy
Early childhood educators understand that play is the most important work of childhood. It’s through play that young children come to understand the world around them. So, at Aurora, our focus on promoting early literacy involves developmentally appropriate activities that are based in play. Our learners are encouraged to communicate through a variety of means from singing, to dancing to telling stories.
As children engage in these activities, they become more confident in and excited about communicating, an integral part of early literacy.
The Importance Of Early Literacy
Recently, many educators have been highlighting the importance of a focus on early literacy, maintaining that a strong foundation before literacy is as important as literacy itself.
Of course, a pre-literate foundation has an immense impact of a child’s ability to read or write when they are first introduced to the concepts. A child who has enjoyed an early literacy foundation will more likely be successful in school. Early literacy enhances not just the ability to read, but overall cognitive development benefiting a child in a multitude of disciplines.
Children will find reading easier, which will in turn develop a love for reading; an asset that will benefit them all through their lives. It will expose them to new concepts and ideas, making them well-informed, well-rounded citizens of the world.
Since Early Literacy is so heavily focused on communication, it also makes children more confident communicators. They can express themselves more articulately and understand and empathise with others, strengthening their connection with the world around them.
Mindful about the positive benefits of early literacy, our educators at Aurora work with our learners to create activities that they are excited about. At our Moonglade studio,, we develop a fortnightly plan for early literacy programs which ensure that our children are confident and involved learners and effective communicators.