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LITERACY DEVELOPMENT
Language abilities and deficiencies can play a major role in literacy development.
Therefore, there should be specific focus upon the language abilities of young individuals. This
is especially true for children from birth to the third grade. It is during this stage of life that a
child is developing their language abilities. This is the motivation and reasoning of why it is so
important to focus upon language and literacy at this early stage of development.
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Being able to comprehend words and their meanings are essential for the development of
literacy. Language deficiencies or poor language abilities can lead to difficulties in literacy for
the child. Literacy intimately involves the ability to read and write, which can be hindered by a
child’s language ability. If a child is unable to understand language then immense difficulty can
arise when learning to read and write.
During early childhood development, when a child is between birth and the third grade,
language abilities and deficiencies must be recognized and focused upon. A child’s language
ability can greatly influence their ability to process phonetics, decode words, as well as their
comprehension, both reading and verbal (McCartney, Ellis, and Boyle, 2006).
The influence of a child’s language abilities and deficiencies becomes especially apparent
when a child is first learning to read. Every child’s language ability will vary. Some children
may have issues with phonetics and letter recognition, while other children may have the ability
to recognize letters and the phonetic sounds associated with them. However, there may be
instances where these children may be able to phonetically sound out a word, such as bats, but
may have difficulty understanding that what they are saying, despite saying it correctly, based on
the level of the children’s language abilities (Whitehurst, and Lonigan, 1998).

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