Oral Language Competence as a Solid Foundation in Early Life

by Pamela Snow

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  • Pamela Snow
    Dr. Pamela Snow
    Researcher, author, and professor of cognitive psychology in the School of Education at La Trobe University in Australia
    Oral Language and Reading Skills
    Released: Wednesday, March 13, 2024

    In this conversation, Dr. Pamela Snow will discuss oral language in early childhood and across the school years, with a focus on its importance and role in developing, and being developed by, reading skills. She will also discuss the importance of applying public health principles to early reading instruction, to maximize success for all through evidence-based reading instruction and support.

    Language and literacy are a two-way street that is not always well understood. Oral language abilities promote reading abilities and vice versa, and as research has shown, early reading success loops back to oral language skills. How can educators use this knowledge to help ALL students learn to read?

    Join this fascinating conversation with Dr. Snow, a respected researcher, author, and professor of cognitive psychology in the School of Education at La Trobe University in Australia. She will share her experience and insight into research findings about why early oral language skills are the essential engine children need to bring to school (and indeed, have strengthened through their school experiences). Dr. Snow will discuss why children need to be exposed to more complex vocabulary and syntactic structures than typical conversation affords, and how teachers of these early learners can help their students master the skills they need to become lifelong readers and communicators.

    In this podcast, you’ll learn:

    • How decoding and language comprehension need to work together in reading acquisition and ongoing development
    • Ways to incorporate explicit teaching of morphology and etymology in early stages of systematic phonics instruction
    • Why children who do master reading early have a lasting edge on those who do not
    • What teachers of early learners can do every day to help students build both oral and reading skills
    • Importance of the scientific method in informing policy and practice in schools and the importance of avoiding pseudoscientific approaches, no matter how appealing they may seem

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