Literacy encounters technical difficulties

6th April 2012 at 01:00

I agree wholeheartedly with Deborah Took (Letters, 30 March) that "this reading stuff is pretty important". Children are born with an innate predisposition to learn through play. By that I mean first-hand, three-dimensional, multi-sensory exploration of the real world, with real people. Given these experiences (and the sharing of time-honoured interactions such as song, rhyme and stories), by the age of 6 or 7 almost every child should have acquired the foundations upon which literacy skills depend.

High-tech modern lifestyles mean many children have few opportunities for this sort of play. It's increasingly urgent that we reassess attitudes to pre-school care and early education, taking account of where children are coming from and where contemporary culture is leading them. Otherwise, a growing number of children will soon fail to get beyond a reading age of 8 or 9.

Sue Palmer, Literacy specialist and author of Toxic Childhood.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now