Developing Early Literacy: Assessment and Teaching.
Author: Susan Hill
Publisher: Eleanor Curtain
I love this book! Hill provides a balanced, comprehensive and detailed explanation of early literacy development and teaching. She presents background knowledge about all areas of early literacy learning, development and teaching and she outlines a repertoire of useful teaching strategies and activities. It is a wonderful reference for all teachers of early literacy and it will strongly support learning for those training in the field of early childhood education.
Hill begins with a discussion of important principles and contemporary understandings of literacy development and teaching. Oral language and home/family practices, as significant influences on children's literacy learning, are given appropriate emphasis. The early years' literacy program is overviewed and considered in light of the need to scaffold children's development in the modes and aspects of reading and writing.
Following the foundation chapters is a detailed look at the various components of early years' literacy development and teaching. Hill presents information about storytelling, reading aloud to children and children's literature. She is clear in her presentation of the important literacy learning aspects of phonological and phonemic awareness and word level work. Within the relevant chapters there is information about development and an abundance of practical teaching activities. The teaching of phonics is given appropriate attention, allowing the reader to understand phonics content, to realise the possible teaching approaches and strategies and to become familiar with different phonics teaching activities.
Early reading is considered in two sections; an overview of the concepts and processes to be developed, and classroom methods and activities for effecting children's reading development.
Importantly, reading comprehension is given significant attention. The information that Hill provides focuses on the interactive nature of reading comprehension and on the strategic nature of reading comprehension. As with other chapters, Hill also ensures there is a rich array of teaching activities.
The developmental nature of writing and the key characteristics of writing stages provide the backdrop to the chapters dedicated to the teaching of early writing. Spelling is dealt with separately; background information about spelling development and strategies for supporting young spellers is clearly presented. Knowledge around text types is also presented separately, but with reference to both reading and writing. Multiliteracies specific to the lives of young children is addressed. Both the surrounding issues and relevant early years classroom practices are presented.
Throughout this book, consideration is given to the individual learner. Hill writes about English language learners and Indigenous literacy and provides practical information on small group teaching, and on classroom planning and management for supporting the development of early literacy.