There have been a number of studies examining the effects of acquiring literacy skills at a very early age and the findings have shown that the earlier a child begins to learn the basics of reading and vocabulary, the far greater their odds for academic achievement later on. With these results demonstrating the benefits for success of all school children, the importance of early literacy for ELLs can’t be stressed enough.
Communication is an inherent trait that each of us possesses, and we begin to fine tune it from the moment we are born. To gain an understanding of language and proper communicative skills, one must learn how to use oral language capabilities. To do this with the highest efficacy, grammar and vocabulary must be addressed and taught at the most basic level. The repetition of language, the words and meanings that comprise it, is of paramount importance in developing these abilities. Breaking it down even further, the child must first learn the alphabet, numbers, and phonics. From there, he or she can start to improve and build upon that primary level of education toward a more complete knowledge of literacy. Only then can a child tackle the challenges of learning a language other than their own.
The Latino Family Literacy Project understands the importance of early literacy and has developed an English literacy program specifically designed for preschool children. The program uses award winning books in the curriculum. You can preview a few of the preschool books used in the program on Lectura Books Youtube page.