"In the history of human development, oral language – conversation, poetry, story-telling, and song – arose long before written language. In children we see the same pattern of language development," writes Joan Almon. "Children first learn to listen, to speak, to sing, to enjoy rhymes, stories, and books before they can read or write."
Rich provision of oral language prepares children for success in literacy, science, maths and other academic skills. Joan discusses phonemic awareness, early language and fairytales – read this.