Susan Hill (2012): Developing Early Literacy: Assessment and Teaching

By Abbey, Alison | Practically Primary, October 2012 | Go to article overview
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Susan Hill (2012): Developing Early Literacy: Assessment and Teaching


Abbey, Alison, Practically Primary


Susan Hill (2012) Developing Early Literacy: Assessment and Teaching (2nd Edition). Eleanor Curtain Books: Sth Yarra

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I have read through this educational text and found it to be interesting, informative and practical. From the outset it discusses literacy development in an easy to understand manner and offers information in regards to the debates about how literacy is developed and best taught. It then moves to discuss home and community languages and from this goes directly to the sharing of information regarding literacy programs and the strategies that assist in the teaching of literacy.

The book provides information regarding language acquisition, oral language, reading and writing development. It also gives some ideas regarding environmental factors that assist in these areas, for example, how to set up your classroom to maximise student potential to develop language.

I thought it particularly pertinent to note the inclusion of information on the topic of the changing dynamics of a family as it has such a pivotal impact on students' backgrounds in literacy. No longer do we have a predominance of nuclear families but rather a wide variety of family structures from single parent families and blended families to extended families. I would take up the author's point that educators would do well to consider the family structure and backgrounds of their students.

The book also provides clear and precise explanations in regard to all facets of literacy, from oral language to the importance of literacy at home and into the child's schooling years. There are effective strategies and tips given in each section. The book assists the educator to refocus on those important strategies such as guided, shared and modelled reading and writing, and the inclusion of activities for students that are tactile and that enable a student to manipulate language in a variety of ways.

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