New Course! Early Childhood: Language Development And Literacy



Before we can discuss early language skills, we need to be clear about the definition of language development. Language development and communication are about more than talking. They refer to the different ways a child understands and communicates, only part of which include spoken words. Language development is important for children to adequately exchange information with others in a meaningful way and a delay in these skills can cause frustration and miscommunication.

Language acquisition happens quickly and without explicit instruction. Children’s language almost always follows a predictable sequence: learning sounds, learning words and learning sentences. Factors that influence language acquisition include:

  • socioeconomic indicators, such as income, education, and occupation of the parents or caregivers
  • the use of social, cultural and regional dialects
  • exposure to more than one language early in language learning or after 3 years of age

Our new Early Childhood: Language Development And Literacy course is designed to help educators better understand language development and literacy in early childhood.

Upon completion, educators will be able to:

  • discuss theories of language acquisition
  • define receptive and expressive language and the roles they play in communication
  • examine causes of language delay and identify communication disorders
  • describe the stages of learning to read and write
  • identify strategies to support and enhance literacy and communication skills of young children

About the Author – Dr. Karen Megay-Nespoli

Dr. Karen Megay-Nespoli is an Associate Professor at St. Joseph’s College and the Director of the Graduate Program in Literacy and Cognition. Megay-Nespoli has a strong background in the education of gifted and talented students, having worked for more than 10 years both in the classroom and as a consultant for gifted programs. As an advocate for gifted students, she serves on the Board of Directors of Advocacy for Gifted and Talented Students in New York State (AGATE). Megay-Nespoli has presented at a variety of international, national, state and local-level organizational conferences.

Request a demo to learn more about this, and all of Exceptional Child’s online special education-related professional development courses.

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