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Early Language & Literacy KnowledgeBase

This KnowledgeBase archive includes content and external links that were accurate and relevant as of September 30, 2019.

The Early Language and Literacy KnowledgeBase is an online resource supporting language and literacy development in early learners from birth through age eight. Its focus is to support parents and caregivers in helping early learners with their language and literacy development, and teachers in enhancing their instruction for early learners from pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3.

Task 4: Building Oral Language Skills

Guideline: Babies, parents and caregivers interact through the cues and sounds they share with each other. Over time, the young child's oral development evolves into words and eventually into short sentences. Engaging in conversation with the young child nurtures language development.



Academic Vocabulary

This link is to the Tennessee Department of Education's academic vocabulary initiative. As noted at its website, "The goal of this project is to provide teachers a list of common terms or phrases aimed at improving vocabulary development of students in Tennessee." Though developed for use by Tennessee teachers, other teachers may find this content helpful with enhancing vocabulary instruction.


Building Academic Vocabulary

This link is to the Oklahoma State Department of Education's academic vocabulary initiative. As noted at its website, "This manual is designed to help school districts or individual schools systematically enhance the academic vocabulary of their students to better prepare them to learn new content in mathematics, science, language arts and social studies."


Promoting Oral Language Development

This brochure developed by the University of North Carolina's Center for Literacy & Disability Studies provides a concise overview for promoting oral language through conversation and intentional talk.


Activities to Encourage Speech and Language Development

This link to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website provides a lists of activities to encourage speech and language development in early learners from birth through age eight. Parents, caregivers and educators of early learners may find these activities useful.


Conversations in Childcare

This link to the California Childcare Health Program website offers caregivers and teachers of early learners practical tips on engaging in conversation with early learners.


Oral Language: Expanding Your Child's Vocabulary

This article, written by the West Bloomfield (Michigan) Township public library, indicates how developing oral language and expanding oral vocabulary increases early reading skills and prepares children to become readers.


Talk it Up!

This Center for Early Literacy Learning publication explains how educators of early learners can engage in conversation with their preschool age learners and how doing so helps develop language and literacy skills. The Center for Early Literacy Learning is funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs.



Expressive Language Disorder

This article from the Children's Speech Care Center website describes expressive language disorder.


Language, Learning, and A Place Called School: Learning Language and Using Language to Learn

This article from the Center for Development and Learning website discusses the systems of language (receptive and expressive), as well as three components of language (phonology, structure and meaning) and highlights why language is important for learning and the social context of school.


Supporting the Oral Language Development of Young Dual Language Learners: Why and How

This webinar by Linda Espinosa explores the importance of development oral language skills with children who are learning English. This presentation runs 54 minutes.