Emergent Literacy

 Emergent literacy vs. readiness

Emergent literacy = Children know a great deal about language as they enter school and this awareness continues to develop, building on oral fluency and developing written fluency


Cognitive Development (Piaget)

During the intuitive phase of the preoperational stage, children begin symbolic thought

Still egotistical & can't use adult logic

Demonstrate syntactic/grammatical awareness, but can't state rules (lack metalinkguistic awareness)

"Developmentally appropriate"


Thought & Language (Vygotsky)

Spontaneous vs. scientific concepts

Zone of proximal development


Learning takes place within a social sphere


Characteristics of good emergent literacy classroom

q       Print-rich environment (charts, labels, displayed books, published writing)

q       Wide variety of experiences (literary, direct, vicarious & otherwise)

q       Wide variety of materials

q       Invented spelling

q       Immersion in language

q       Concepts of print / print conventions (book knowledge, directionality, visual & auditory conventions)

q       Language learning occurs naturally

q       Being members of the "literacy club"

q       Let children choose (plan, do, assess)

q       Build on children's natural curiosity

q       Emphasize functional language in authentic settings

q       Allow for experimentation with language

q       Environmental print

q       Story reading (& interactions about)

q       Emphasis on oral communication & refining

q       Listening areas

q       Open discussions vs. I-R-E pattern

q       Dramatic play (centers)

q       Creative dramatics (story re-enactments)

q       Language use throughout day and across subjects

q       Story sharing (news, show 'n tell, wordless pic. Books)

q       Repeated readings

q       Language Experience Approach (individual or whole class)

q       Sight words (word bank, word wall, high meaning words)

q       Letter recognition, phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle

q       Reading centers & Writing centers

q       Shared book experiences

q       Predictable or patterned stories (repetition, rhyme, rhythm, patterns, familiar concepts)

q       Big books

q       Pretend reading

q       Authentic writing with invented spelling, dictation, illustration

q       Invented spelling <> decoding

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