Translating Research into Practice

Results from the National Early Literacy Panel and Their Implications for Family Literacy Programs

Authored by: Christopher J. Lonigan , Timothy Shanahan

Handbook of Family Literacy

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  August  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415884570
eBook ISBN: 9780203841495
Adobe ISBN: 9781136899126


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Successful acquisition of skilled reading is a necessary developmental milestone for children living in a literate society. Reading-related skills form the foundation for acquiring content knowledge in many different domains both in school and throughout life. As societies, including the United States, move toward employment opportunities that increasingly involve technology and information, well-developed literacy skills are becoming more important than ever. Many children acquire these literacy skills early in their school experiences, and they maintain them at a relatively high level throughout school. For instance, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP; National Center for Educational Statistics, 2009) revealed that 33% of fourth-grade children and 32% of eighth-grade children were reading at or above the proficient level. Significant numbers of children struggle with literacy skills throughout their school experiences, however. About 33% of fourth-grade children and 25% of eighth-grade children score below the basic level, according to the 2009 NAEP, and there is some evidence that a larger number of children than this have reading skills that have not kept pace with developmental expectations by the time they exit high school.

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