Home Literacy Environment – read more 1

  • Research has shown a consistent pattern of impact and the importance of the home literacy environment in the acquisition of literacy. The home literacy environment is a place that introduces the child to its earliest literacy experiences. This early foundation may assist or constrain literacy acquisition once the child is enrolled in school. As such, early signs of how children practice reading are implanted within the home literacy environments supported by their family structure within their social contexts (Neuman & Dickinson, 2002). As a result of the various literacy practices, rituals and routines in which children and their parents engage in, children enter school with different levels of preparedness for literacy acquisition. Families play a critical role from which children can benefit in the acquisition of reading skills, language skills, social-emotional functioning and overall academic achievement. (Farver, et. al., 2006; Raver & Knitzer, 2002; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2000; Stipek & Ryan, 1997).
  • The complexity of the process requires a multi-layered approach that involves specialized expertise of the teachers. In the home, facilitating reading skills has been linked to formal and informal literacy interactive processes (Aram & Levin, 2002; Kirby & Hogan, 2008; Manolitsis et al., 2011; Sénéchal, 2006; Storch & Whitehurst, 2001; Reese & Gallimore, 2000; van Steensel, 2006). These interactive processes differ from place to place; culture to culture and family to family. Important to realize is that different groups of people are literate in different ways following their cultural practices that invoke different patterns of cognitive demands and opportunities for learning (Calfee, 1997; Heath, 1983; Nerlove & Snipper, 1981; Serpell, 1991; Wells, 1990; Vygotsky, 1978). For example, generational pattern of how reading is practiced may directly relate to how much exposure children have with literate materials. Home Literacy Theoretical Framework as shown in figure 1.