Much is known about the skills that young children need to be successful readers. The literature identifies two kinds of skills that are key to young children’s language and literacy development: meaning-related skills and code-related skills. This article focuses on one of these key skills: meaning-related skills. It provides an overview of what is known about the importance of young children’s language development to children’s success as readers and describes several evidence-based instructional strategies (strategies that researchers have shown to have a positive impact on children’s language learning) that early childhood teachers should use to support children’s language development. By using the described strategies, early childhood educators can ensure that their teaching is in harmony with current research findings and that they are providing their young learners with the very best meaning-related skill instruction known today.
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