The more teachers understand about how children learn to talk, the more they can help children become avid, joyful readers and writers. Drawing on a large body of research and her own volunteer work at a family shelter, Lindfors concisely identifies several important commonalities across oral and written language. Taking the compelling perspective that it's all language, she traces children's emergent literacy from infancy through the early school years. The book incorporates abundant examples from a diverse range of children engaged in authentic literacy experiences. Lindfors describes a set of language principles that teachers can build on as they help young students learn to read and write using the oral language processes they already know.The book contains a new, more positive ""language acquisition perspective"" on children's linguistic and literary capacities, fascinating and insightfully framed quotes, writings, and drawings from children, a 24-page Guide for Instructors and Teacher Study Groups, and an Appendix containing an interview with shelter staff from SafePlace and offering basic information on how to identify children who are living in situations of violence and what teachers can do about it.