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It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of the role played by family members, especially parents and grandparents, in children's early language and literacy learning. In the first six years of life, children are learning to listen, speak, read and write, in contexts that are increasingly mediated through technology. Learning in home and community contexts occurs through everyday interactions between children, and between children and adults. The aims of this book are to support families in their very important work through: providing an overview of literacy learning in the infant/toddler years, the preschool years, and the early school years identifying key milestones and indicators for concern at each level discussing the impact of technology on young children's learning; providing a framework that demonstrates how language and literacy learning can be integrated into everyday life without 'hot housing' or pressuring children, but rather through following and extending their interests and abilities. The focus is on informed observation and supportive engagement which follows individual children's interests, engages them in everyday activities, and extends their interest, understanding and confidence. Suggestions for communication between families and staff in early childhood settings are offered at each level.
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About the Author

Laurie Lind Makin, TL, BA, MA, GradDipEdSt (MultEd), PhD, has had extensive experience as an early childhood educator. A widely-published author in the areas of early language and literacy learning, bilingual education and multicultural education, Laurie has also contributed to a range of teaching resources in these areas. Her publications include How to develop children's early literacy (Sage, 2004), Literacies in childhood (Elsevier, 2007, 2nd edn) and Learning literacies - birth to three: Positive approaches for early childhood educators (Pademelon Press, 2012). Her research has focused on adult-child interactions in early childhood settings. Laurie worked extensively with families in the program, `Support at Home for Early Language and LiteracieS (SHELLS)' (Makin & Spedding, 2001-2008). Prior to retirement in 2007, she was Founding Director of the Children and Education Research Centre at the University of Newcastle, and a Visiting Scholar in early childhood at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

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