Building Literacy Instruction From Children's Sociocultural Worlds

Victoria Purcell-Gates, Gigliana Melzi, Behnosh Najafi, Marjorie Faulstich Orellana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article demonstrates that children's language and literacy development shares an inextricable relationship with their social and cultural worlds. Cultural factors always shape the ways different communities engage in reading and writing. Young English language learners bring culturally shaped beliefs and experiences regarding reading and writing to school, where they are taught important beginning literacy skills and practices that may not fit with their previous experiences. This article calls for carefully designed research that explores promising curricular modifications that may increase the early literacy abilities of children from cultural and linguistic backgrounds different from mainstream educational environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Culturally responsive early literacy instruction
  • Young multicultural learners
  • Young multilingual learners

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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