Checklists for Language & Literacy Development in Preschoolers

Most children start to talk by 15 months of age. This includes saying single words, and as they age, they put words together to create sentences. Beginning to read begins by identifying letters around age 3. As children enter preschool, their language and literacy skills develop rapidly. Checklists that categorize the development of these skills help parents and teachers identify problems early.

  1. University Center for the Development of Language and Literacy

    • The University Center for the Development of Language and Literacy designed a checklist to identify the possibility of dyslexia in preschool-age children. The checklist begins at birth and includes signs of normal language and literacy development up to age 6. The checklist divides the developmental signs by intervals of six months. Not all children reach all the listed signs at the same time. Some children develop specific skills more slowly than other skills. When administering this checklist, make note of any similar skills missing throughout the months. This might signal a developmental problem.

    The UK Department of Education Literacy Learning Environment

    • A child’s learning environment can help or hinder literacy and language development. The United Kingdom Department of Education created a checklist to find any deficiencies in a child’s learning environment. Answer the questions by indicating whether the learning environment currently meets the child’s needs in that area or if it needs to be improved. The questions are divided into five categories that include creating the best environment for learning to read and write as well as teaching.

    National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

    • The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders developed checklists on the developmental milestones young children should reach in normal development. These checklists include language milestones for preschool-age children. The checklists begin at birth and stop after age 5. For preschool-age children, the 10-question survey asks about the ability of the child to identify colors, group like objects and correctly describe simple objects. Completing the online checklist results in a page that summarizes the answers. The institute suggests that parents who answer no to any of the questions should contact their child’s doctor.

    University of Virginia Observational Assessment

    • The University of Virginia compiled a comprehensive checklist that tests for early childhood literacy. The checklist covers three sections on child literacy development that cover understanding the written language, understanding simple words in the environment and identifying the various parts of book. Each section has 10 questions. Upon completing the checklist, parents and teachers gain a better understanding of the child’s current development in the specific areas listed.

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