This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book offers, in non-technical language, a simple account of modern educational practices which can be adapted to local methods and individual approaches, used with any reading scheme or none and which parents can read with a view to helping their children without interfering with their school. Our environment is both human and physical: the people we come into contact with and the animate and inanimate aspects of our surroundings. The connection between the development of intelligence and the development of language is known to be very close, but, exactly how, when and where to begin to foster their development is often doubtful. There is much uncertainty and anxiety among parents and teachers as to how their children can be motivated to read and write, and taught these techniques rapidly and permanently.