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ERIC Number: EJ898679
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Sharing Spoken Language: Sounds, Conversations, and Told Stories
Birckmayer, Jennifer; Kennedy, Anne; Stonehouse, Anne
Young Children, v65 n1 p34-39 Jan 2010
Infants and toddlers encounter numerous spoken story experiences early in their lives: conversations, oral stories, and language games such as songs and rhymes. Many adults are even surprised to learn that children this young need these kinds of natural language experiences at all. Adults help very young children take a step along the path toward loving stories and becoming competent language users and storytellers when they provide experiences that foster enjoyment and engagement with sounds, symbols, and words, which are the precursors of the more complex structures they call stories. The more natural conversations and other spoken language experiences that infants and toddlers have in their very early years, the more likely they will become confident speakers, storytellers, and readers and writers when they are older. In this article, the authors discuss how to help very young children enjoy and engage with language and stories when they can't yet understand all of what adults say. To be very young children's "best storytellers," the authors suggest adults should: (1) provide models of language in use; (2) tailor experiences to respond to children's interests, needs, and backgrounds; (3) encourage children to observe, listen, and imitate what they see and hear; and (4) respond to and encourage infants' and toddlers' particular ways of communicating and storytelling.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: Parents; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A