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Cultural Influences of Early Language and Literacy Teaching Practices

Rebecca Parlakian - ZERO TO THREE and Sylvia Y. Sanchez - George Mason University Graduate School of Education 


'Children learn to communicate in the context of their home culture. Beginning at birth, children use their home language and culturally accepted communica- tion styles to connect with others in a meaningful way, forming secure relationships that are intrinsic to healthy development. For the early childhood teacher, it is important to establish supportive, respectful rela- tionships as well—with both families and children. These connections help teachers learn more about the strengths, needs, and culture of every child in their care. Collaborative relationships with families also provide teachers with the information they need to support children’s individual language and literacy development. By creating a richly diverse and welcom- ing environment, by remaining aware of their own cultural beliefs (and biases), and by identifying a vari- ety of teaching strategies to share the magic of print and language, early childhood teachers can spark a lifelong love of reading in the children they care for'. 


  • Glenda Albon

    Thanks Tania for the link to this article. I found it has some really clear examples of why and how teachers can strengthen their relationships with children and their whānau, to gain respect for and understanding of each others individual ways of 'being' and 'doing'. I can recommend this article to others.


Early Years Facilitator and Learning with Digital Technologies Facilitator, based in Whangarei - Northland,