By Seymour W. Itzkoff
This volume brings together the sciences of psycholinguistics and developmental psychology with the practical knowledge of classroom practice in literacy education to create a unique but accessible explanation of how children learn to read. It explains the necessary educational and pedagogical steps that parents and teachers both can take in assisting the child to make a smooth transition from infant babbler to eight-year-old fluent reader. It also points to the possible developmental as well as educational danger signals that tell us that things are not going as they should, and suggests what we can do to help children overcome their problems, slowdowns, and difficulties learning to read and write. Included here is a discussion of such important issues as emergent literacy or reading readiness: phonics and slow reading; fluent reading and the "reading system"; the dangers of the first-grade Rubicon; reading problems of unique children; the dangers and benefits of "Whole Language" reading programs; Reading Recovery" for endangered young readers; the role of writing; parents; TV; and the school program. The book is clearly written, uses nontechnical terminology, and should provide teachers and parents a guide to evaluating the progress of youngsters from the time they approach child-care and pre-school stages of socialization to that point where they should be reading independently for pleasure as well as searching for information and subject-matter competency.