Main content

Alert message

Session 5:  Study Questions and Answers for Recommended Reading I:  Parlakian

Parlakian, R. (2004). Early literacy and very young children. Zero to Three, 25(1), 37-44.

1. Describe four commonly observed early literacy behaviors in infants and toddlers that caregivers may use to recognize the emergence and progression of very young children’s early literacy skill development.

  • Handling books—physically manipulating them.
  • Looking at and recognizing pictures in books.
  • Comprehending pictures and stories—as evidenced, for instance, by imitating or talking about the events in stories.
  • Reading stories—showing increased understanding of print, for instance by babbling in imitation of reading or by running a finger along printed words.

2. How is oral language facilitated?

Oral language is facilitated through

  • multiple opportunities to use language in interactions with adults and
  • listening and responding to stories.

3. What is phonemic awareness?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to recognize the sounds within words.

4. What is alphabetic knowledge?

Alphabetic knowledge is an understanding of the names and shapes of the letters.

5. What is print knowledge?

Print knowledge is an understanding of the ways in which print is used and of how print works.

6. What are two sources of print knowledge in young children?

  • Literary props, such as menus, newspapers, and writing utensils, that can be incorporated into play.
  • Environmental print, such as signs and labels.

7. Describe the relationship between social-emotional development and academic achievement.
Social-emotional development and academic achievement are “united priorities,” meaning they are interrelated and interdependent; they are “two sides of the same coin.”

8. What part, according to the authors, should organized instruction, rote learning, flash cards, drill, and practice play in the cognitive development of infants and toddlers?

All of these approaches are developmentally inappropriate and may inhibit infants’ and toddlers’ innate curiosity and enthusiasm.

9. What is intentionality? Provide an original example of intentionality.

  • Intentionality is the thoughtful provision to children of the support and experiences they need to achieve developmentally appropriate skills.
  • Examples will vary but should be developmentally appropriate.

10. What is scaffolding? Provide an original example of scaffolding.

  • Scaffolding refers to the information or assistance that more competent others provide to children as they are learning to master a new skill.
  • Examples will vary but should be developmentally appropriate.

11. What is the zone of proximal development?

The zone of proximal development is that period during which a child is challenged while learning a new skill.

12. What are five ways in which infant-family professionals can support the development of very young children’s school readiness skills?

Participants’ responses will vary but should include five of the following:

  • Respond to children’s individual needs and temperaments.
  • Encourage children’s curiosity and exploration.
  • Introduce developmentally appropriate literacy and numeracy concepts.
  • Appreciate the magic of everyday moments.
  • Establish strong working relationships with families.
  • Recognize and respect family cultures.
  • Reduce parents’ anxiety about school success.
  • Provide anticipatory guidance.
  • Support inclusive environments.