Emergent literacy is the development of early reading and writing concepts that receded actual reading. It begins at birth and continues throughout the preschool years. During this early period of language development, children learn important skills that contribute to the development of reading.
Children begin to develop concepts about print at a very young age, even as early as infancy when babies begin to make connections between words and their meaning. Parents and caretakers can foster a lifelong enjoyment for reading by supporting emergent literacy development by being sensitive to opportunities to teach emergent literacy skills. Some of the following ideas can be overlapped via age group.
The Development of Emerent Literacy
Emergent Literacy in Infancy
- Begin reading to your child at a very young age. Children love books that have brightly colored pictures, rhyming, and that relate to their own experiences.
- Repeat your child’s babbling and add to them.
- Talk to your child during daily routines around the house. Explain what you are doing.
- Reread your child’s favorite books.
Emergent Literacy in Toddler-hood
- Talk, sing and play with your child. Do finger plays.
- Ask your young toddler to name objects and people.
- Point out words on signs and logos on food boxes and games. Click here for my post about environmental print.
- Introduce new vocabulary words during holidays and family celebrations.
- Give simple definitions to new vocabulary in books, then encourage your child to use that new vocabulary.
Emergent Literacy in Preschool
- Point out details in illustrations and talk to your child about them, or have your child describe what is happening in the picture.
- Teach your child the letters of the alphabet and encourage your child to point out letter he/she knows while reading.
- Allow your child access to writing and art materials, and give your child daily opportunities to write and draw.
- Encourage your child to tell a story and write down the words. Then, read it back to your child.
- Allow your child to explore nonfiction books of interest.
For Further Reading:How Parents Can Help Enhance Emergent Literacy Among Preschoolers by B. W. Otto What is Emergent Reading by M.R. Jalongo Emergent Literacy: Early Reading and Writing Development by Froma P. Roth, PhD, CCC-SLP|Diane R. Paul, PhD, CCC-SLP Early Literacy Instruction: Research Applications in the Classroom by Chia-Hui Lin Stage 1: Let’s Learn Our ABC’s (roughly 2-5 years old) by This Reading Mama
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I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction