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Copy of Emergent Literacy vs. Reading Readiness

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by Luciana Fernandez on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Copy of Emergent Literacy vs. Reading Readiness

Critical Issue:
Emergent Literacy vs. Reading Readiness
What is most appropriate practice?

Katy Pitcher Reading Readiness
For many decades, educators believed reading instruction should not be taught until children reached an age of mental readiness. “The dominant theory from the 1920s into the 1950s was that reading readiness was the result of biological maturation” (Understanding Literacy Development in Young Children, n. d.). Researchers instructed families and teachers to not interfere with their child’s natural development thus postponing the teaching of reading until children were in kindergarten or first grade. In the late 1950’s, reading readiness instruction changed gears from simply a maturity level to more direct instruction and structured curriculum to prepare children for reading. Where did reading readiness come from?
“A strong influence on reading readiness came from developmental psychologists such as Arnold Gesell, who advocated maturation as the most important factor in learning to read” (Morrow, 2012, pg.14). During a child’s beginning school years teaching methods were child centered and focused on social, emotional, and physical development. “Morphett and Washburne supported postponement of reading instruction until a child was” at the “mental age of 6 years, 6 months” (Morrow, 2012, pg.14).
“The term reading readiness became popular; and instead of waiting for a child’s maturation to unfold, educators focused on nurturing that maturation through instruction in skills seen as prerequisites for reading” (Morrow, 2012, pg. 15). Readiness Skills:
• Auditory discrimination
• Visual discrimination
• Visual motor skills
• Large motor skills
1960s to 1980s
Investigations in early literacy programs. As a result of the research, Emergent literacy was discovered. Marie Clay coined the first definition of emergent literacy as the assumption “that the child acquires some knowledge about language, reading, and writing before coming to school” (Morrow, 2012, pg. 15). Emergent Literacy
“Emergent literacy research begins in the homes of young children, tracing their literacy development from birth until the time they read and write conventionally” (Children begin to Acquire Reading and Writing Process Very Early, n. d.).

Key Elements of Emergent Literacy adapted from Understanding Literacy Development in Young Children
Literacy development begins before children are introduced to formal instruction
Reading and writing develop simultaneously
Functions of literacy are equally as important as learning forms of literacy
Children learn about written language as they actively engage, explore, and observe adults in reading and writing situations
Children will pass through stages of literacy development in a variety of ways and ages. Emergent Literacy Infant Activities
Board books
Read books with rhyme, rhythm, or repetition
Ask W questions during readings
Point out logos, signs, and labels
Avoid putting a negative association with books
Emergent Literacy Preschool Activities
Provide a literacy rich environment
Converse about literature
Provide a comfortable atmosphere for reading and writing
Utilize children’s interest to support reading and writing
Allow children access to a variety of writing and writing materials
Emergent Literacy
Occurs gradually over time
Reading and writing learned together
Teacher scaffolds instruction geared to ZPD
Skills learned while reading and writing
Builds naturally on literacy concepts learned at home
*Adapted from "Emergent Literacy Presentation" Youtube. May 15, 2010. Reading Readiness
Occurs during K and early 1st grade
Reading learned before writing
Skills learned before reading and writing
More "skill and drill" format, reading readiness workbooks were common
Separate period for learning reading readiness skills
*Adapted from "Emergent Literacy Presentation" Youtube. May 15, 2010 References
Allington, R. L. & Cunningham, P. M. (2011). Children Begin to Acquire Reading and
Writing Processes Very Early. www.education.com/print/children-acquire-reading-writing-early/

DrShettell. (May 15, 2010). Emergent Literacy Presentation. http://youtu.be/LIfKR2gbV0s

Morrow, L. M. (2012). Literacy Development in the Early Years. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Ramsberg, D. (n. d.) Understanding Literacy Development in Young Children. http://library.adoption.com/articles/understanding-literacy-development-in-young-children.html
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