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Teaching Language and Literacy: Preschool Through the Elementary Grades.

The authors, all notable in the literacy field, place "children at the center of all good language and literacy teaching." They begin by flaming the text within three themes - a constructivist perspective on learning, respect for diversity and instruction-based assessment - that are the foundation for all the book's teaching strategies. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on the developmental nature of oral language and literacy learning in the early years. The next two chapters demonstrate how teachers can facilitate language and literacy development through a variety of teaching strategies and meaningful experiences in preschool and kindergarten.

A thorough examination of literacy teaching in the elementary grades, highlighting, with detailed examples, "best practice" principles, precedes an excellent look at the reasons portfolios are useful tools in language and literacy learning. In addition, the authors integrated authentic assessment tools throughout the book. Finally, the authors focus on the importance of home-school collaboration, giving practical ways to promote parental involvement.

The in-depth information on understanding the process and instructional needs of second-language and bilingual learners is outstanding, adding a rich dimension to the text. Other special features include detailed case studies of children's language and literacy development, special features boxes that provide pertinent information on related topics and successful trade secrets of practicing teachers.

This book, which is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate education courses, skillfully blends what is known about children, language and literacy development, and assessment into the practical arena of preschool and elementary classrooms. The authors present a solid foundation for language and literacy learning, best practices and appropriately embedded assessment within an interdisciplinary approach.

Teaching Language and Literacy makes a much-needed contribution to understanding and facilitating language and literacy development from a social constructivist perspective rather than a transmission model. Reviewed by Sandra J. Stone, Associate Professor of Literacy and Early Childhood Education, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
COPYRIGHT 1998 Association for Childhood Education International
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Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Stone, Sandra J.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1998
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Next Article:Integrating Children's Literature and Mathematics in the Classroom: Children as Meaning Makers, Problem Solvers and Literary Critics.

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