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The early years are increasingly recognised as a priority time for the education of children and language and literacy are key elements of any early childhood programme. This second edition provides an accessible text on the current research and thinking surrounding these areas and demonstrates clearly how this theory can work in practice. The authors: provide guidance on planning, assessment and recording; and suggest appropriate activities, resources and play ideas to help those who work with or are planning to work within the foundation stage. The second edition includes specific reference to both the curriculum guidance for the Foundation Curriculum and the framework of teaching objectives for the National Literacy Strategy and puts these within a framework which ackwledges the centrality of play and talk in the early years. The book is firmly grounded in the requirements of the Foundation Curriculum and is a suitable textbook for undergraduate early childhood courses, all those following routes into early years teaching, and existing practitioners in all types of early years settings. The book should also be appropriate reading for LEA advisers and those who inspect early years settings.