Children, Language, and LiteracyBy Celia Genishi and Anne Haas Dyson
In their new collaboration, Celia Genishi and Anne Haas Dyson celebrate the genius of young children as they learn language and literacy in the diverse contexts that surround them. Despite burgeoning sociocultural diversity, many early childhood classrooms (pre-K to grade 2) offer a 'one-size-fits-all' curriculum, too often assessed by standardized tests. In contrast, the authors propose diversity as the new norm. They feature stories of children whose language learning is impossible to standardize, and they introduce teachers who do not follow scripts but observe, assess informally, respond to, and grow with their children. Among these children are rapid language learners and those who take their time to become speakers, readers, and writers at 'child speed.' All these learners, regardless of tempo, are often found within the language-rich contexts of play.