Language and Literacy Rich Environments

PA Promise for Children has a variety of resources, including how to choose an early learning program for your child, and information about child development.(external link)
CELLcasts are available for parents to watch and listen to online or download to your iPhone or audio device. You can choose from infant, toddler or preschooler to see a variety of resources that will help you develop a language and literacy rich environment for your child. (external link)
Reading Tip Sheets are available for parents to download in both English and in Spanish.  You can choose from babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to see a variety of ways to help you master age-appropriate tips for reading with young children.  The Reading Tip Sheets for preschoolers are also available in 9 other languages.  All tip sheets can be downloaded and/or printed. (external link)


Responsive Teaching and Caregiving

The Illinois Early Learning Project offers videos that show some family activities that help infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children learn about the world. Videos are available in both English and Spanish. Each provides some background information, a transcript, and a list of resources about the topic. While you are there, be sure to check out “Baby Meets Books,” “Dads Read,” and “Reading Partners: Sharing the Lead in Storybook Reading.” (external link)
Singing lullabies with your early learner is a great way to build emergent language and literacy skills!  First, watch this short Youtube video to learn why singing lullabies is important.  Then, visit the Baby Center to access popular lullaby lyrics! (external link)
“Serve and Return” interactions between babies and caregivers are key to setting the stage for later language and literacy success.  Watch this video about serve and return from the Harvard University Center for the Developing Child to learn how physical and vocal interactions help to build your baby’s brain. (external link)
Talking with your child is crucial in building your child’s speech and language skills. Let’s Talk! provides a series of videos with tips for speaking to your child at a variety of ages.  Make sure to select the right age range to learn the tips that will best help you communicate with your early learner! (external link)

Language and Literacy in Everyday Activities

Talk with Me Baby has recommendations for how you can provide your baby with “Language Nutrition” simply by talking and engaging with your baby – even before she is born!  Download the printable version to hang around your home and share with friends and family. (external link)
PBS Parents provides ideas for you to use during  everyday activities, such as grocery shopping or driving in the car, that will help support the development of your child’s language and literacy skills.   (external link)
Hanen Center Literacy Corner has various tips and tricks on how to encourage conversation with your young learner!  Make sure to check out the Shoot for the SSTaRS handout to help build your child’s vocabulary in natural ways. (external link)
Learn to “Make Every Moment Count” with this helpful PDF tip sheet from the First Words Project.  Take advantage of the time spent with your child participating in activities such as playing and eating to support your child’s learning and development. (external link)

Predictors of Early Literacy Success

Talking to and reading with a baby from birth is crucial to his or her later success in language and cognitive development.  Visit the ZERO TO THREE website for more information on “the ‘missing’ first year” and what you can do to ensure your child’s success in school and in life. (external link)

The First Words Project 16 by 16 series is designed to help families and caregivers learn the critical social communication skills that children should reach by 16 months in order to launch future language and literacy learning. Explore their lookbooks with photographs that illustrate the 16 critical skills in a variety of areas, including social connectedness and language learning.  Please note: you will need to create a free account to access the lookbooks, which are available to download, print, or share. (external link)

Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act and move that are indicators of later development.  The CDC provides a series of milestone checklists from 2 months through 5 years.  Download the checklist for your child’s age and consult your doctor if you have any concerns. These checklists are available in both English and in Spanish. (external link)

Featured Websites and Resources

Center  for Early Literacy Learning (CELL) provides technical assistance and coaching to support early learning practices.  Click through the website to find a variety of resources including CELLcasts, videos, and newsletters on a variety of topics for ages birth-6. (external link)

 We all know talking, reading, and singing with preschoolers every day is important!  Download the “Talk, Read and Sing Together Everyday” PDF from Too Small to Fail to learn simple tips to use in a variety of situations throughout the classroom, including with English language learners. (external link)

Resources for Practitioners