Learning pathways could guide children who miss best start to improved literacy by age 11

A study of 7,000 children shows that the early talk and communication experienced when very young, while essential preparation for school, does not directly impact on literacy skills by age 11. Although talking, reading, or singing to a young child is very important, children who experience this less – typically those from less-advantaged backgrounds – need not be permanently disadvantaged. By targeting specific ‘learning pathways’, they could be helped to catch up with their more fortunate peers.

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