Our work is aimed at enabling inspiring and motivating opportunities for literacy development for all children living in multilingual settings by transforming the way adults engage with children using print in both formal and informal educational settings.
We train practitioners and others in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) field to offer the kind of rich interactions, resources and activities that young children need to grow into successful readers and writers. We also focus on forming partnerships with other organisations that recognise the importance of stimulation and encouragement in young children’s development and that are interested in providing holistic learning experiences for children.
PRAESA’s approach to language and early literacy teaching is holistic, meaning-based. The key research assumptions that underpin this approach are:
- Adults are the interactive reading and writing role models who inspire and motivate babies and children’s interest in and exploration of oral and written language.
- Young children become emergent talkers, readers, writers and imaginative thinkers when their experiences with language and print are regular and personally meaningful.
- Young children learn language joyfully and effectively with regular opportunities to listen to stimulating, playful language input from adults and children, to be listened to as they express their own thoughts and views, and to compose their own stories.
- Young children learn language in holistic ways. They integrate listening, talking, reading and writing.
- Young children use stories and play to drive their learning, so these form the basis of an appropriate early literacy pedagogy and curriculum.
- Multilingualism is a resource that enriches all our language learning.
PRAESA helps to transform ways for adults to approach and facilitate young children’s biliteracy learning experiences in community and school settings. This work involves:
- Advocating for the democratic right of all young children to appropriate and enriched early-literacy-related experiences and access to a wide variety of literature in languages they use and understand.
- Providing biliteracy training and mentoring at different levels of informal and formal education systems.
- Undertaking literacy research and development in early childhood settings (birth to age 6).
- Developing and sharing language and literacy resources that support multilingualism.
PRAESA has developed, implemented and trialled its unique Storyplay approach which opens up the world of literacy for young children in creative and innovative ways.