How Young Children Become Readers and Writers
The research in the area of emergent literacy suggests that the roots
of both reading and writing are established in the oral language
experiences of very young children (Glazer, 1989; Strickland &
Children learn much about reading and writing as pre-schoolers by
observing the reading and writing that occurs in their families.
They then begin to reading and writing as part
of their home experiences (Heath, 1983; Taylor, 1983). They come to
realize that the print that is part of their environment communicates
messages that fulfill a variety of important functions.
Modeling Through Storybook Reading
Recent research clarifies the extreme importance of reading storybooks
to young children both at home and in school. Very early, children begin
to imitate that reading -- at first by relying exclusively on picture
clues and memory. With increased experience they begin to focus on the
information that print conveys (Snow, 1983; Sulzby, 1985; Teale, 1987).
Early Writing Forms
Research has also shown that young children are strategic in early
forms of writing. They begin by using scribbles and progress through
increasingly accurate representations of the relationship between letters
and the sounds for which they stand. As children think about how to
represent the sounds of words through their writing, they are building
skills that will be useful for reading as well (Barnhart, 1986; Dyson,
1985; Teale & Sulzby, 1986).
Go on to Concepts, Strategies, and Skills Needed
to Become Effective Readers
Back to What is Emergent Literacy?
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