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Session 5: Study Questions and Answers for Recommended Reading J:  Rosenkoetter & Barton

Rosenkoetter, S., & Barton, L.R. (2002). Bridges to literacy: Early routines that promote later school success. Zero to Three, 22(4), 33-38.

1. Identify the benefits of young children having positive relationships with print.

  • builds positive associations and happy memories of reading
  • helps children explore new ideas and concepts, laugh with people from other generations, and learn about basic and unusual concepts
  • provides security
  • calms restlessness

2. In reference to responsiveness for young children, what is meant by the phrase “play ping pong, not darts”?

Participants’ responses will vary but should include key elements listed below:

In responding to infants’ and toddlers’ attempts at communication, caregivers should be attentive and consistent, and should expand and affirm children’s
communicative attempts. Also, caregivers should follow the children’s lead.

Using these strategies provides the opportunity for communication to be a give-and-take situation much like ping-pong, rather than giving constant direct
instruction, which is more like a game of darts.

3. Identify the benefits of repetition in young children’s literacy routines.

  • provides stability in scheduling
  • emphasizes family values
  • helps young children form and maintain neuronal connections in the nervous system
  • strengthens cognitive skills, a key foundation for later literacy

4. Why are routines important for modeling and motivation?

Family routines around literacy show that reading and writing are normal, important activities and demonstrate the value of literacy in everyday life.


5. List key methods of modeling and motivating young children for literacy success.

  • Include an abundance of print in the environment in one or more languages at children’s eye level.
  • Add children’s verbal comments to their drawings.
  • Read and write in the presence of young children and draw attention to what they are doing.
  • Read aloud to children daily.
  • Act out stories.
  • Create original stories.
  • Role-play with reference to story characters during everyday routines.

6. Describe the correlation between oral language and emergent literacy.

Oral language helps young children build associations with actions and objects. Children who are not exposed to increased quantities of words as infants or toddlers will have limited vocabularies, restricted use of grammar, and decreased output into the middle school years. Additionally, their overall school performance, including reading, will be at a lower level than that of children who live in environments with high quantities of oral language.

7. What are the benefits of exposing young children to multiple experiences in their communities?

  • Varied personal experiences assist beginning readers with decoding skills.
  • Experiences build concepts, making it easier for older children to complete word identification tasks.
  • Personal experiences help children to find meaning in words.
  • Experiences promote general school readiness.
  • Experiences introduce young children to people, objects, and actions that they will later encounter in print.
  • Developmentally appropriate television programs can assist in building knowledge about the world.
  • Cooperative play experiences create foundations for meaning and sequencing in later stages of literacy.

8. What are young children’s tools of literacy? List five examples.

Children’s tools are those available in their everyday lives. Print materials include items such as billboards, picture books, magnetic letters, writing utensils, newspapers, and computers.

9. What is the early interventionist’s role in providing experiences with these tools?

  • Ensure that young children and their families are surrounded by tools of literacy.
  • Encourage exposure to the tools.
  • Gather and distribute resources for obtaining the tools.
  • Ensure that books are developmentally appropriate.
  • Encourage families to visit their public library and attend community storytimes.
  • Encourage caregivers at childcare centers to read aloud to babies and children.

10. How do experiences with sounds benefit young children?

  • Children who are more competent in manipulating the sounds and rhythms found in language become better and more fluent readers.
  • Playing with rhythms and rhymes will build auditory competencies for literacy.
  • Word play helps children attend to linguistic sounds or phonemes.
  • Playing with sounds helps children develop phonological awareness in a natural way without using direct instruction drills or practices.
  • Playing with sounds helps young children develop phonemic awareness, which is important for later literacy learning.

11. Why is decontextualized language important for literacy success?

In order to become readers, young children need to begin to imagine times and places that are not in the physical present. In order to become writers, children need to learn to take the perspective of someone or something other than themselves and to provide details that bring the reader to the situations being described.

12. What role does development in the first 2 years of life play in learning to write?

In the first two years of life, children develop the trunk and limb control, postural stability, and fine motor skills that facilitate later writing skills.

13. What role does culture play in emergent literacy for young children?

Cultural backgrounds and family values influence:

  • the amount and quality of adult-child interactions;
  • the way that information is passed from generation to generation;
  • the nature of the vocabulary used in the home;
  • the use of print materials in the children’s environment;
  • the quantity and quality of literacy materials, activities, and models; and
  • the amount of time spent on literacy activities.