Public seminar on “Supporting Language and Literacy Development in Young Children” co-organised with the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong.

The Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association – Hong Kong Chapter (PECERA-HK) and the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong are very pleased to have co-organized a seminar on “Supporting Language and Literacy Development in Young Children” on Jan 28, 2014 (Tue).

It is our honor to have Dr. Jennifer Chen and Dr. Wu-Ying Hsieh as our Guest Speakers. Drawing on insights from brain research and other studies concerning the relationship between linguistic competence and child outcomes, Dr. Jennifer Chen first discussed why it is important for parents and early childhood educators to support the language development (including bilingual and multicultural acquisition) of young children. Moving beyond addressing the Why question, building on the sociocultural theory as well as findings from previous research and her own research, Dr. Chen also shared some concrete strategies of how to harness young children’s ability to acquire language by providing responsive language support to facilitate their further development.

Dr. Wu-Ying Hsieh shared with us a research project with a focus on teaching strategies that support emergent literacy in preschoolers. The three “skill sets” of strategies include: (a) sharing books with children; (b) developing awareness of sounds and letters; and (c) developing an understanding of the relationship between ideas and the written word. Examples of how teachers embedded these strategies within their ongoing schedules and activities will be shared. Dr. Hsieh shared some interesting stories happened in the classrooms and information on how to individualize the use of these skills with children who need extra support.

Dr. Jennifer Chen is currently a Fulbright Visiting Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. She earned her doctorate degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University. She is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood and Family Studies at Kean University in the U.S., and also the President of the New Jersey Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.Dr. Wu-Ying Hsieh is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. Before joining HKU, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she taught graduate-level courses in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). Dr. Hsieh earned her doctorate degree in Special Education with an emphasis in ECSE from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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