Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal 15: 811–812, 2002.
Developing Language and Literacy 3–8 by Ann Browne. 2001, P. Chapman
Pub., London, 280 pages, cloth (07619-6738-9) £55.00/paper (07619-6739-
Developing Language and Literacy 3–8 was ﬁrst published in 1996. The book
has been updated and published in a second edition. It is a comprehensive
guide to the teaching of English in the early years. Additions and changes
to the new edition bring the reader up-to-date with the latest policy devel-
opments. The book aims to cover all aspects of language and literacy in the
early years and is written for trainee teachers and teachers.
Browne has written a lucid and comprehensive book, accessible to both
the novice and more experienced teacher. It is packed with practical ideas
and with information on planning, assessment and accessing appropriate
resources. The style is clear, assumes no knowledge of specialized terms,
mixes prose with practical checklists and tables and is illustrated with some
case studies and actual samples of children’s writing.
The book has eleven chapters covering the core areas of speaking and
listening, reading and writing. Other chapters are concerned with issues that
may impact on literacy and language learning, notably a chapter on bilingual
students, a chapter on gender differences in language and literacy acquisition
and a chapter on children who struggle with language/literacy. Additionally,
Browne discusses in some detail how parents can be involved in the literacy
Whilst Browne’s approach to language and literacy is ﬁrmly grounded
in the practical, she relates her practical suggestions to relevant theory where
appropriate. For example, she describes stages of development in spelling and
in punctuation which can then directly inform teaching practice and learning
strategies. Furthermore, underpinning the detailed information on planning,
managing and implementing English teaching is a more philosophical theme.
Browne describes the purposes of language and literacy: the range of exper-
iences that such skills allow us to participate in and the opportunities they