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Literacy through play: how families with able children support their literacy development

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This article reports on findings from a research study that set out to identify factors that enable children considered to be able by their teachers to extend and develop their literacy. The data substantiated much that is already known about the significance of preschool home influences on the emergence of literacy. It underlined the importance of children being able to hear the sounds in words - phonemic awareness - through frequently playing games and hearing nursery rhymes, which led to their early success with reading. It suggested that there might be a link between their ability to plan their imaginative play and their ability to learn aspects of literacy systematically on entry to school. This comes at a time when there has been a resurgence of interest in play as a means of learning in the early years in the UK, after the influence exerted by the downward thrust of the National Curriculum in 1990 and the National Literacy Strategy in 1998.
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Keywords: Able pupils; Early years; Family support; Literacy; Play

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Brunel University, School of Education 300 St Margarets Road, Twickenham TW1 1PT, UK 2: Education Consultant, Brunel University

Publication date: 01 October 2003

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