A basic task tha t ch ildren m ust accom plish in the process o f grow­ ing u p and becom ing literate is tha t o f dealing with situations of distanced com m unication , for exam ple, talking on the te lephone, w riting a le tte r to a stranger o r giving directions. Effective dis­ tanced com m unication requires analysis o f what o n e ’s in ter­ locutor already knows, could infer and needs to be told; it requires taking the perspective o f a distant, perhaps unknow n lis­ tener; it requires p lann ing so tha t o n e ’s message is com plete and com prehensib le , then also m onito ring the message on-line to be sure it em erges as p lanned . Effective distanced com m unicators m ust contro l the linguistic resources o f com plex sen tence syntax and discourse cohesion, as well as considerable analytic and p re­ dictive ability. Such abilities can o f course be observed (and developed) in oral language contexts, though they are probably d em an d ed m ost frequently in writing.