ECE230 Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood Sample

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In the case of engaging with the children through a dialogue reading approach, I had chosen the book for children “The Giving Tree” which proved to be a very interesting book for the children.  I can consider my success in having an effective dialogue reading session with the children as I was able to identify and observe the behavior of the child during the story reading. Based on Vukelic, Christie & Enz’s research, I could understand the level of engagement that the child had with the entire story by the way he was making sounds even before speaking as if he was imitating my voice (Cortes, 2013). I could very well engage with the child during the entire storytelling session (As shown in the Appendix). This can be concluded by the way the child was attentive toward me and the way he was listening to the story. The child was actively engaged throughout the reading which was very much visible through his expressions. The child was observed to be slapping at the book at regular intervals very frequently as the story was progressing (Biddulph, 2002). He seemed to look at me and the book alternatively as the story proceeded.

I could assess my success in delivering effective dialogue reading which was completely evident from the fact that the child was constantly asking me questions in between the reading which is a good sign denoting the engagement level of the child.  I could further assess my engagement and ability to be a successful children’s story reader by the way I could introduce the text of the story effectively by talking to the child regarding the relevant experience at their age.  I was able to provide the child with space and scope for talking, reading, and thinking about his way of imagination throughout the session. I was able to make the child predict the story which gave scope for the development of his imagination. I was also successful in delivering the story and reading it out to the child along with making expressions that were very effective in the delivery of the story. There was proper interaction between the child and me which was one of the strategies that had to be taken care of during the entire delivery of the dialogue approach (Bredekamp, 2016).

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Throughout the entire depiction of the story, there were ‘immediate talks’ most of the time. The child was frequently asking questions throughout the session of storytelling. As per DeTemple, The immediate talk was oriented in the direction of answering the literal questions that were asked by the child to me. This also included the labeling of the pictures that were present in the storybook (DeTemple, 2001). Further, there were many instances present throughout the entire session of dialogue delivery approach of the storytelling to the child where the child had multiple opportunities of engaging in non-immediate talk. It could be observed that the engagement of the child throughout the storytelling session was reflecting the receptive knowledge of the child through both the immediate talk and non-immediate talk. He seemed to be interested in the pictures that were present in bold throughout the story (Bus & Neuman, 2014). He kept on asking questions that were associated with the various types of pictures and images which are considered to be in the immediate talk section. The child was very enthusiastic and interested in getting to know about the characters, colors, and letters present in the images.

The non-immediate talk extended beyond the textual content of the storybook. It involved the dialogue and conversations between the child and me about the meanings of the word, making the interferences and predictions.  It also included the association of the meanings, interference, and predictions with the textual content of the entire storybook to the personal experiences of the child (Ewing, Callow & Rushton, 2016). The child, through the immediate and non-immediate talks, was able to actively engage in learning the story and the moral behind the story.  The immediate and non-immediate talks included the words like “what”, “how”, “when”, and “how”, etc. these questions were followed by the answers to the questions,  continuous repetition of what the child kept on speaking,  along with providing praise and help (Greenwood et al., 2014). These immediate and non-immediate talks created more space for the active engagement of the child in the entire session of storytelling.

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The story reading session with the dialogue reading approach facilitated an enjoyable time for the child through the story which was filled with many opportunities for understanding and imagining the story with visual clues.  The child was not made to read the text from the story from the storybook (Ewing, Callow & Rushton, 2016).  The activity, expression, and behavior of the child were observed throughout the entire session. The child was matching and resonated with the delivery of the story.

The child was prompted in the entire storytelling session which was based on the dialogue reading approach. Selection of the books for children is a very crucial aspect and in fact, it is the first step of the entire dialogue reading approach of storytelling to the children. One of the ways for beginning the selection of books for children is to seek award-winning authors and books. This method should be preferred as the award-winning books are selected by the committees which are made up of the selected individuals who have expertise in the literature for children (Greenwood et al., 2014). Another source for selecting books for children is the Internet which would provide many options and choices of books for children with information regarding the date of application, publisher, and cost of the books.

The strategies that I shall adopt while reading next time would include previewing which would include the aspect of learning a text before actually reading it. It will enable me to get an idea of what the text is all about (Genishi & Dyson, 2015). The next strategy that I shall adopt is contextualization which would include placing the text in biographical, cultural, and historical contexts. The next strategy that I would inculcate is questioning for understanding and remember what the children would think of asking.


The role of the child in writing back could reflect the development of the cognitive abilities and verbal communication of the child with adults and other children along with the narratives of the child.   The psychological aspect and conditioning of the child could also be reflected in the writings of the child.  The assessment of the writing skills along with the drawings had major links to literacy. It can be stated that there has been a tremendous effect of, media on the cognitive behavior of the child as the child could write and draw things out of his imagination which was majorly influenced by the entertainment media (Hammer et al.,  2014).

As per Schickedanz & Casbergue, the writing style and pattern reflected the gain of control of the child regarding the development and implementation of hand and eye coordination along with motor strength.  The speed and fluency of the child could be analyzed (Schickedanz & Casbergue, 2004).  The drawings of the child were much in coordination with the writings which were primarily implemented according to the imagination of the child. The most driving force for the child was the exploration of ideas along with visualization which is oriented to the child through the dialogue reading session (Ziol‐Guest & McKenna, 2014).

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The linear learning principle denotes the aspect of being in resonance with the old, obsolete, and contemporary way of learning that includes textbooks, curriculum, schedules, and classrooms.  This linear learning system works like a delivery model which acts like a conveyor belt. The delivery of writing cannot be expected from a child to be in a linear format (Jung et al., 2016).  The linear principle would include the correct usage of tense, grammar, and synchronicities in the sentences which cannot be done by a small child. The flexibility principle would denote the way the child created a wide variety of symbols by decorating or repositioning the conventional forms that enabled him to explore the constraints and limits within which every form of the letter varied and was different from each other. However, it still retained its identification.

The flexibility writing principle, in this case, could be analyzed as that child could discover what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in writing. He could understand the fact that he had to write and draw according to the story that he was presented with. He produced certain kinds of shapes of letters that were recognizable. He also included patterns and numbers in his writing. He did not have any idea regarding the limits of the et writing system. The child was still getting confused with the reversal letters like “b” and “d” in his writing (Lane & Wright, 2007). This can straightway denotes the fact that he was much more resonated to be adapting flexible writing.  The writings and drawings by the sign principle would denote the extent to which the sense of the numbers is comprehended and what the child has learned out of it.

As per Hill, Jones & Schilling, the cognitive ability of the child to be able to perceive the numbers and symbols in the surroundings is reflected through the writings and drawings of the child. It could be analyzed that the child was very much prompt in being close to accurately understanding small numbers and symbols (Hill, Jones & Schilling, 2014).  The child was able to discriminate between various types of objects (Xu et al., 2014).  The development of the word concept in the child is observed to emerge in a very gradual manner and is relevant in this case (Lederberg, Schick & Spencer, 2013).  At this age, the child is learning to read and write.  The learning of the child includes the lessons including the use of syllables, words, and phonemes.

The order of the word emergence has placed the syllable to be in the first factors that the child was giving attention to. The selection of words had to be taught to the child at this age which was getting reflected in his writings. The child was very prompt at identifying the symbols, names, and words by sight. Throughout his conversations, I could identify that the child was very fast in learning from the symbols and had the assumption that any whole symbol was representing the entire word. It could also be perceived that the child could identify and adopt various strategies for seeking various features from any word. It was also observed that the child used such features for the identification of any word. The child has a natural tendency for memorizing the entire word. He could also memorize some of one the salient features of the words. He, however, had difficulty reading the authentic contents that were not composed primarily as sight words. Phonemic awareness of the child could be associated with the ability of the child to identify, hear and manipulate the sounds in the words which he spoke (Otto, 2015). Throughout the story reading session, the child was very carefully identifying and categorizing sounds and was giving efforts in blending sounds from forming words (Wallach, 2016).

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The child was giving attention to sight words through which he was able to read simply by having a look at the words without him saying much to sound them alphabet by alphabet. He was able to create sight words as he was naturally able to encounter various words that were outside the sight word. He was sounding out the words by pronouncing them aloud. It helped in enhancing the ability of the child in differentiating between what he expected to hear and what he heard. The session also helped the child in separating the sound of the words from their actual meaning (Piasta et al., 2015).

The child was also identifying and was able to separate the phoneme. He was recognizing the words that rhymed with each other. He was. However, having a very enjoyable time while getting to identify the phoneme and getting aware of the way every word should be pronounced.  He was able to recognize single words in every sentence.  He was paying attention to the matching of the identically sounding words at every beginning of the words.


Line Speaker Utterance Comment
1 Teacher I chose the storybook named “The Giving Tree” for us to read.

What do you think his book might be about?

Seated side by side on a couch and sharing the book with the child.

Looking at the front cover.

2 Child Is it about a tree, a boy, and a fruit that gives something? Pointing at the front cover has a picture of a tree.
3 Teacher Yes, the book is about a tree. How do you know that it is about a tree?
4 Child There is a picture of a tree on the cover of the book. But there is also a boy. He is there to eat anything. Pointing out the picture of the boy on the cover of the book. The child points to the image of the fruit on the cover page of the book.
5 Teacher Very good. What fruit is it?  
6 Child That is an apple. It is a strawberry! No! It is not a strawberry. It is an apple.  
7 Teacher How can you say that the fruit is an apple? Why not a strawberry?  
8 Child Because the fruit is too big. The Strawberry that I ate for my breakfast is a small fruit.  
9 Teacher Yes, it is an apple that is bigger than a strawberry. Can we start reading now?  
10 Child Mm, hmm. Turn the page. He opened the cover and we went to the first page.
11 Teacher This book is called, The Giving Tree. It is written by Mr. Silverstein I pointed to the words as I read.

The child was watching intently.

12 Teacher Once upon a time, there was a tree. The tree kept growing as she saw the little boy who looked just like you. The tree also loved the little boy a lot.  The boy went up the hill and climbed into the tree. Both look at the picture.
13 Child He could climb a tree! Child pointing
14 Teacher Yes, he could. Looking at the child.
15 Child Was he not scared??
16 Teacher No, he wasn’t! Every day the boy would come and take up the leaves with his hands to gather the leaves. He used to make crowns out of the leaves. He pretended to be the forest’s king and play the game of king of the forest.  
17 Child I am the king of the forest. Raising one hand
18 Teacher He would climb up the trunk of the tree and pick the apples and eat them.  He would also play hide and seek around the tree.
19 Child Wow! Okay!  
20 Teacher When he was tired, he would sleep in the shade of the tree.  
21 Child then  
22 Teacher As 20 years passed by, while the tree was mostly alone, it used to be very sad. Then one day the boy came to the tree. Then the tree said,” Boy, come on! Climb up my branches and swing. The boy who had grown up to be a big man replied,” No, I cannot do that anymore.  I am too grown up and big to play and climb on you.”  
23 Child Oh!! Putting palms on his cheeks
24 Teacher The young man told,” I want to buy many things and have fun. I want to make a lot of money. Do you have a lot of money Giving Tree?”  
25 Child  

Then what happened?


26 Teacher The tree helped the boy in making money by giving her apples and branches as time passes by. The greed of the young man kept on growing. The tree kept on giving whatever she could from her trunk, branches, etc.  
25 Child Then?  
26 Teacher The tree, through her entire lifetime, helped them by giving him whatever was possible out of love but the man could not return anything. At the end of his lifetime, the young man was too tired and wanted to rest in peace with the leftover trunk of the tree. Can you tell me what you learned from the story?  
25 Child The tree loved the boy a lot and she was her best friend till the end.  
26 Teacher Yes, correct!  

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Biddulph, J., 2002. Guided reading: grounded in theoretical understandings. Steps to Guided Reading: A professional development course for grades, 3.

Bredekamp, S., 2016. Effective practices in early childhood education: Building a foundation. Boston: Pearson.

Bus, A.G. and Neuman, S.B., 2014. Multimedia and literacy development: Improving Achievement for young learners. Routledge.

Cortes, C., 2013. Designing Literacy Rich Classroom Environments for Young Children: A Study of Teachers’ Design Processes and Tools. Arizona State University.

DeTemple, J.M., 2001. Parents and children read books together. Beginning literacy with language, pp.31-51.

Ewing, R., Callow, J. and Rushton, K., 2016. Language and Literacy Development in Early Childhood. Cambridge University Press.

Greenwood, C.R., Carta, J.J., Goldstein, H., Kaminski, R.A., McConnell, S.R. and Atwater, J., 2014. The Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood: Developing evidence-based tools for a multi-tier approach to preschool language and early literacy instruction. Journal of Early Intervention, 36(4), pp.246-262.

Genishi, C. and Dyson, A.H., 2015. Children, language, and literacy: Diverse learners in diverse times. Teachers College Press.

Hill, C.W., Jones, G.R. and Schilling, M.A., 2014. Strategic management: theory: an integrated approach. Cengage Learning.

Hammer, C.S., Hoff, E., Uchikoshi, Y., Gillanders, C., Castro, D.C. and Sandilos, L.E., 2014. The language and literacy development of young dual language learners: A critical review. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 29(4), pp.715-733.

Jung, Y., Zuniga, S., Howes, C., Jeon, H.J., Parrish, D., Quick, H., Manship, K. and Hauser, A., 2016. Improving Latino children’s early language and literacy development: key features of early childhood education within family literacy programs. Early Child Development and Care, 186(6), pp.845-862.

Lane, H.B. and Wright, T.L., 2007. Maximizing the effectiveness of reading aloud. The Reading Teacher, 60(7), pp.668-675.

Lederberg, A.R., Schick, B. and Spencer, P.E., 2013. Language and literacy development of deaf and hard-of-hearing children: successes and challenges. Developmental psychology, 49(1), p.15.

Otto, B., 2015. Literacy development in early childhood: Reflective teaching for birth to age eight. Waveland Press.

Piasta, S.B., Logan, J.A., Pelatti, C.Y., Capps, J.L. and Petrill, S.A., 2015. Professional development for early childhood educators: Efforts to improve math and science learning opportunities in early childhood classrooms. Journal of educational psychology, 107(2), p.407.

Spodek, B. and Saracho, O.N., 2014. Handbook of research on the education of young children. Routledge.

Schickedanz, J.A. and Casbergue, R.M., 2004. Writing in Preschool: Learning to Orchestrate Meaning and Marks. International Reading Association (NJ3).

Wallach, G.P. ed., 2016. Handbook of language and literacy: Development and disorders. Guilford Publications.

Xu, Y., Chin, C., Reed, E. and Hutchinson, C., 2014. The effects of a comprehensive early literacy project on preschoolers’ language and literacy skills. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(5), pp.295-304

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