ArticlePDF Available

The Essentials of Early Literacy Instruction

Young Children March 2003
he cumulative and growing
research on literacy devel-
opment in young children is rapidly
becoming a body of knowledge
that can serve as the basis for the
everyday practice of early literacy
education (IRA & NAEYC 1998;
National Research Council 1998;
Yaden, Rowe, & MacGillivary 2000;
Neuman & Dickinson 2001; NAEYC &
NAECS/SDE 2002). Although prelimi-
nary, the knowledge base outlines
children’s developmental patterns in
critical areas, such as phonological
and print awareness. It serves as a
resource for designing early literacy
programs and specific instructional
practices. In addition, it offers reli-
able and valid observational data
for grounding approaches to early
reading assessment.
Kathleen A. Roskos, Ph.D., is the director of the Ohio Literacy Initiative at the Ohio
Department of Education and is a professor at John Carroll University in Cleveland.
She coordinated Bridges and Links, one of the first public preschools in Ohio, and is
instrumental in the development of content guidelines in early literacy. Kathleen studies
early literacy development, teacher cognition, and the design of professional education
for teachers.
James F. Christie, Ph.D., is a professor of curriculum and instruction at Arizona State
University in Tempe, where he teaches courses in language, literacy, and early child-
hood education. His research interests include children’s play and early literacy develop-
ment. James is the president of the Association for the Study of Play.
Donald J. Richgels, Ph.D., is a professor in the literacy education department at North-
ern Illinois University in DeKalb, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses
in language development, reading, and language arts.
Beyond the Journal. This article also appears on NAEYC’s Website:
Illustrations © Diane Greenseid.
That we know more about literacy
development and acquisition, how-
ever, does not let us escape a central
issue of all early education: What
should young children be learning
and doing before they go to kinder-
garten? What early literacy instruc-
tion should children receive? What
should it emphasize—head (cogni-
tion) or heart (motivation) or both?
Real-life answers to these ques-
tions rarely point directly to this
or that, but rather they are some-
where in the middle, including both
empirical evidence and professional
wisdom. While we will continue
Kathleen A. Roskos, James F. Christie, and Donald J. Richgels
e Essentials of
Early Literacy Instruction
I struggled through the
alphabet as if it had been
a bramble-bush; getting
considerably worried and
scratched by every letter.
Charles Dickens
Great Expectations
to wrestle with these complicated
questions, we must take practical
action so that our growing under-
standing in early literacy supports
the young child as a wholesome,
developing person.
What then are the essentials of
early literacy instruction? What con-
tent should be included, and how
should it be taught in early educa-
tion settings? Our first response
to these complex questions is
described below in a skeletal frame-
work for action. We briefly define
early literacy, so as to identify what
young children need to know and
be able to do if they are to enjoy the
fruits of literacy, including valuable
dispositions that strengthen their
literacy interactions. Then we de-
scribe two examples of instruction
that support children’s reading and
writing learning before they enter
the primary grades.
With the imagery of Pip’s remark
from Great Expectations in mind, we
hope to show that well-considered
early literacy instruction is cer-
tainly not a bramble-bush for our
very young children, but rather a
welcoming environment in which to
learn to read and write.
Young Children March 2003
Essential Early Literacy
Teaching Strategies
Effective early literacy instruction provides preschool children
with developmentally appropriate settings, materials, experi-
ences, and social support that encourage early forms of reading
and writing to flourish and develop into conventional literacy.
These basics can be broken down into eight specific strategies
with strong research links to early literacy skills and, in some
cases, with later elementary-grade reading achievement. Note
that play has a prominent role in strategies 5, 6, and 8. Link-
ing literacy and play is one of the most effective ways to make
literacy activities meaningful and enjoyable for children.
1. Rich teacher talk
Engage children in
rich conversations in
large group, small group,
and one-to-one set-
tings. When talking with
use rare words—words
that children are unlikely
to encounter in everyday
extend children’s comments into more descriptive, grammati-
cally mature statements;
discuss cognitively challenging content—topics that are not
immediately present, that involve knowledge about the world, or
that encourage children to reflect on language as an object;
listen and respond to what children have to say.
2. Storybook reading
Read aloud to your
class once or twice a
day, exposing children
to numerous enjoyable
stories, poems, and in-
formation books. Provide
supportive conversations
and activities before,
during, and after read-
ing. Repeated reading
of favorite books builds
familiarity, increasing the likelihood that children will attempt to
read those books on their own.
The learning domain
Today a variety of terms are used to refer
to the preschool phase of literacy develop-
ment—emerging literacy, emergent reading,
emergent writing, early reading, symbolic
tools, and so on. We have adopted the term
early literacy as the most comprehensive yet
concise description of the knowledge, skills,
and dispositions that precede learning to
read and write in the primary grades (K–3).
We chose this term because, in the earliest
phases of literacy development, forming
reading and writing concepts and skills is a
dynamic process (National Research Council
1998, 2000).
Young children’s grasp of print as a tool for
making meaning and as a way to communi-
cate combines both oral and written lan-
guage. Children draw and scribble and “read”
their marks by attributing meaning to them
through their talk and action. They listen to
stories read aloud and learn how to orient
their bodies and minds to the technicalities
of books and print.
When adults say, “Here, help me hold the
book and turn the pages,” they teach children
basic conventions of book handling and the
left-to-right, top-to-bottom orientation of Eng-
lish. When they guide children’s small hands
and eyes to printed words on the page, they
show them that this is the source of the read-
ing and that the marks have meaning. When
they explain, “This says ‘goldfish’. Do you
remember our goldfish? We named it Baby
Flipper. We put its name on the fishbowl,”
they help children understand the connec-
tion between printed words, speech, and real
Children’s early reading and writing learn-
ing, in other words, is embedded in a larger
developing system of oral communication.
Early literacy is an emerging set of relation-
ships between reading and writing. These
(Continued on p. 54)
What early literacy in-
struction should children
receive? What should it empha-
size—head (cognition) or heart
(motivation) or both?
© BmPorter/Don Franklin
Bill Geiger
Young Children March 2003
relationships are situated in a
broader communication network
of speaking and listening, whose
components work together to help
the learner negotiate the world and
make sense of experience (Thelen
& Smith 1995; Lewis 2000; Siegler
2000). Young children need writing
to help them learn about reading,
they need reading to help them
learn about writing; and they need
oral language to help them learn
about both.
Necessary content and
dispositions in early literacy
Early literacy holds much that
young children might learn. Yet we
cannot teach everything and must
make choices about what content
to teach and which dispositions to
encourage. High-quality research
provides our best evidence for set-
ting priorities for what to address
and how.
Recent reviews of research indi-
cate at least three critical content
categories in early literacy: oral
language comprehension, phono-
logical awareness, and print knowl-
edge. They also identify at least one
important disposition, print motiva-
tion—the frequency of requests for
shared reading and engagement in
print-related activities, such as pre-
tend writing (Senechal et al. 2001;
Layzer 2002; Neuman 2002; Lonigan
& White-hurst in press).
Essential Early Literacy
Teaching Strategies
(cont’d on p. 55)
3. Phonological awareness activities
Provide activities that increase children’s
awareness of the sounds of language. These
activities include playing games and listening to
stories, poems, and songs that involve
rhyme—identifying words that end with the same
sound (e.g., Jack and Jill went up the hill);
alliteration—recognizing when several words
begin with the same sound (e.g., Peter Piper
picked a peck of pickled peppers);
sound matching—deciding which of several words
begins with a specific sound (e.g., show a child
pictures of a bird, a dog, and a cat and ask
which one starts with the /d/ sound).
Try to make these activities fun and enjoyable.
4. Alphabet activities
Engage children with materials that promote iden-
tification of the letters of the alphabet, including
ABC books
magnetic letters
alphabet blocks and puzzles
alphabet charts
Use direct instruction to teach letter names that
have personal meaning to children (“Look, Jen-
nifer’s and Joey’s names both start with the same
letter. What is the letter’s name? That’s right, they
both start with j”).
5. Support for emergent reading
Encourage children to attempt to read books
and other types of print by providing
a well-designed library center, stocked with lots
of good books;
repeated readings of favorite books (to familiar-
ize children with books and encourage indepen-
dent reading);
functional print linked to class activities (e.g., daily
schedules, helper charts, toy shelf labels);
play-related print (e.g., signs, menus, employee
name tags in a restaurant play center).
(cont’d from p. 53)
Young children need
writing to help them learn
about reading, they need
reading to help them learn
about writing; and they
need oral language to help
them learn about both.
Bill Geiger
© Elisabeth Nichols
© Ellen B. Senisi
Young Children March 2003
Children need to learn main-
stay concepts and skills of written
language from which more complex
and elaborated understandings and
motivations arise, such as grasp of
the alphabetic principle, recogni-
tion of basic text structures, sense
of genre, and a strong desire to
know. They need to learn phono-
logical awareness, alphabet letter
knowledge, the functions of written
language, a sense of meaning making
from texts, vocabulary, rudimen-
tary print knowledge (e.g., devel-
opmental spelling), and the sheer
persistence to investigate print as a
meaning-making tool.
Content of Early Literacy
Teaching preschool children
what reading and writing can do
to name and write alphabet
to hear rhymes and sounds in
to spell simple words
to recognize and write their own
new words from stories, work,
and play
to listen to stories for meaning
Valuable Dispositions of
Early Literacy Instruction
Cultivating preschool children’s
willingness to listen to stories
desire to be read to
curiosity about words and let-
exploration of print forms
playfulness with words
enjoyment of songs, poems,
rhymes, jingles, books, and
dramatic play
Essential Early Literacy
Teaching Strategies
6. Support for emergent writing
Encourage children to use emergent
forms of writing, such as scribble writing,
random letter strings, and invented spell-
ing, by providing
a writing center stocked with pens, pen-
cils, markers, paper, and book-making
shared writing demonstrations in which
the teacher writes down text dictated by
functional writing opportunities that are connected to class activities
(e.g., sign-up sheets for popular centers, library book check-out slips, Do
not touch! signs);
play-related writing materials (e.g., pencils and notepads for taking or-
ders in a restaurant play center).
7. Shared book experience.
Read Big Books and other enlarged
texts to children, and point to the print as
it is read. While introducing and reading
the text, draw children’s attention to basic
concepts of print such as
the distinction between pictures and print;
left-to-right, top-to-bottom sequence; and
book concepts (cover, title, page).
Read favorite stories repeatedly, and en-
courage children to read along on the parts of the story they remember.
8. Integrated, content-focused activities.
Provide opportunities for children to
investigate topics that are of interest to
them. The objective is for children to use
oral language, reading, and writing to learn
about the world. Once a topic has been
identified, children can
listen to the teacher read topic-related
information books and look at the books on
their own;
gather data using observation, experi-
ments, interviews, and such;
use emergent writing to record observations and information; and
engage in dramatic play to consolidate and express what they have
As a result of such projects, children’s language and literacy skills are
advanced, and they gain valuable background knowledge.
© BmPorter/Don Franklin© Ellen B. Senisi
© BmPorter/Don Franklin
Young Children March 2003
Written language is harder
to learn than oral
Learning an alphabetic writing
system requires extra work. Both
spoken and written language are
symbol systems for representing
and retrieving meanings. In spoken
language, meaning making depends
on phonemes or sounds. As children
gain experience with the language of
their community, they learn which
words (or sequences of phonemes)
stand for which concepts in that
language. For example, children
learn that the spoken word table in
English or mesa in Spanish names
a four-legged, flat-topped piece of
Writing and reading with an alpha-
betic system involve an extra layer
of symbols, where the phonemes are
represented by letters. This means
that beginners must both learn the
extra symbols—the letters of the
alphabet—and raise their conscious-
ness of the phonemes (because,
while speaking and understanding
speech, we unconsciously sequence
and contrast phonemes).
Speakers, for example, understand
the two very different concepts
named by the words nail and lane
without consciously noticing that
those words are constructed from
the same three phonemes
(/n/, /A/, and /l/), but in different
sequences. When children learn
to read, however, they must pay
attention to those three phonemes,
how they are sequenced, and what
letters represent them.
Invented spelling is a phonemic
awareness activity that has the add-
ed advantage of being meaningful
and functional (Richgels 2001). Chil-
dren nonconventionally but system-
atically match sounds in words that
they want to write with letters that
they know. For example, they may
use letter names and sounds in letter
names (/ch/ in H, /A/ as the name of
the letter A, and /r/ in R) when spell-
ing chair as HAR. Invented spelling
begins before children’s phonemic
Written language is
decontextualized; that
is, the sender and receiver
of a written communication
usually do not share the
same time and space.
awareness is completely developed
and before they know all the names
of the letters of the alphabet. With
encouragement from adults, it devel-
ops through stages that culminate in
conventional spelling.
The meanings of both spoken
and written language serve real
purposes in our daily lives (Halli-
day 1975). We usually do not speak
without wanting to accomplish
something useful. For example, we
might want to influence others’
behavior (“Would you turn that
down, please?”), express our feel-
ings (“I hate loud music”), or convey
information (“Habitual listening
to loud music is a danger to one’s
hearing”). Similarly, with written
messages we can influence behavior
(NO SMOKING), express feelings
NY), and inform (Boston 24 mi)
while serving such added purposes
as communicating across distances
or preserving a message as a record
or a reminder.
These added purposes require
that written messages be able to
stand on their own (Olson 1977).
Written language is decontextual-
ized; that is, the sender and receiver
of a written communication usually
do not share the same time and
space. The writer is not present to
clarify and extend his or her mes-
sage for the reader. This means that
young readers’ and writers’ extra
work includes, in addition to dealing
with phonemes and letters, dealing
with decontextualization.
Why do the extra work?
Historically, societies have found
the extra work of writing and read-
ing to be worthwhile. The extra
functions of written language, espe-
cially preserving messages and com-
municating across distances, have
enabled a tremendous growth of
knowledge. Individual children can
experience similar benefits if teach-
ers help them to acquire the knowl-
edge and skill involved in the extra
work of reading and writing while
always making real to them the ex-
tra purposes that written language
serves. We must cultivate their
dispositions (curiosity, desire, play)
to actively seek, explore, and use
books and print. As they learn what
letters look like and how they match
up with phonemes, which strings of
letters represent which words, and
how to represent their meanings in
print and retrieve others’ meanings
from print, they must see also how
the fruits of those labors empower
them by multiplying the functional-
ity of language.
With speech, children can influ-
ence the behavior of others, express
their feelings, and convey informa-
tion. A big part of motivating them
to take on the extra work of reading
and writing must be letting them see
how the permanence and portabil-
ity of writing can widen the scope
of that influencing, expressing, and
informing. Young children who can
say “No! Don’t!” experience the
power of spoken words to influence
what others do or don’t do—but
only when the speakers are present.
Being able to write No extends the
exercise of that power to situations
in which they are not present, as
morning kindergartners Eric, Jeff,
Zack, and Ben realized when they
wrote NOStPN (No stepping) to
keep afternoon kindergartners from
disturbing a large dinosaur puzzle
they had assembled on the class-
room floor (McGee & Richgels 2000,
Young Children March 2003
The practice of early literacy instruction:
Two examples
Unlike the very real and immediate sounds and
meanings of talk, print is silent; it is obscure; it is not of
the here and now. Consequently, early literacy instruc-
tion must often be explicit and direct, which is not to
say that it must be scriptlike, prescriptive, and rigid
(Schickedanz 2003). Rather it should be embedded in
the basic activities of early learning long embraced by
early education practice and research. These include
reading aloud, circle time, small group activities, adult-
child conversations, and play.
Teachers can embed reading and writing instruction in
familiar activities, to help children learn both the con-
ventions of print and how print supports their immedi-
ate goals and needs. The two examples below show how
what’s new about early literacy instruction fits within
tried-and-true early education practice.
Interactive storybook reading
Reading aloud has maximum learning potential when
children have opportunities to actively participate and
respond (Morrow & Gambrell 2001). This requires teach-
ers to use three types of scaffolding or support: (a)
before-reading activities that arouse children’s interest
and curiosity in the book about to be read;
(b) during-reading prompts and questions that keep chil-
dren actively engaged with the text being read; and (c)
after-reading questions and activities that give children
an opportunity to discuss and respond to the books that
have been read.
Instruction can be easily integrated into any of these
three phases of story reading. This highly contextualized
instruction should be guided by children’s literacy learn-
ing needs and by the nature of the book being read:
teach children new vocabulary and concepts;
Raffi’s Down by the Bay, promote phonological aware-
ness; and
Alligator under My Bed, by Mercer Mayer, are ideal for
generating predictions and acquainting children with
narrative structure, both of which lay a foundation for
reading comprehension.
In addition, most books can be used to teach print rec-
ognition, book concepts (e.g., cover, page), and concepts
of print (e.g., print vs. pictures). Of course, instruction
should be limited to several brief teaching points per
reading so children can enjoy the read-aloud experience.
Enjoyment and building positive dispositions should
always be given high priority when reading aloud. For an
example of how a teacher might do an interactive story
reading session with There’s an Alligator under My Bed,
see “Shared Reading to Learn about Story Plot.”
Literacy in play
The general benefits of play for children’s literacy de-
velopment are well documented, showing that a literacy-
enriched play environment exposes children to valuable
print experiences and lets them practice narrative skills
(Christie & Roskos 2003). In the following example, two
preschoolers are playing in a restaurant activity cen-
ter equipped with wall signs (Springville Restaurant),
menus, pencils, and a notepad:
Food server: Can I take your order?
Customer: [Looks over the menu] Let’s see, I’d like some
cereal. And how about some orange juice. And how
about the coffee with that too.
Food server: We don’t have coffee. We’re all runned out.
Customer: Okay, well . . . I’ll just take orange juice.
Food server: [Writes down order, using scribble writing]
Okay. I’ll be right back with your order. (Roskos et al.
Here, the customer is using the literacy routine of
looking at a menu and then placing an order. If the menu
is familiar and contains picture cues, some emergent
reading might also be taking place. The food server is
using another routine—writing down customer orders—
and is practicing emergent writing. In addition, the
children have constructed a simple narrative story,
complete with a problem (an item is not available) and a
resolution (drop that item from the order).
A Vygotskian approach to developing mature dramatic
play also illustrates the value of tangible play plans
for helping children to self-regulate their behaviors, to
remember on purpose, and to deliberately focus their
attention on play activity—foundational cognitive skills
of reading and writing (Bodrova & Leong 1998). We have
found that preschoolers often spend more time prepar-
ing for their dramatizations than they spend acting
out the stories. For example, one group of four-year-
olds spent more than 30 minutes preparing for a pizza
parlor story (organizing felt pizza ingredients, arranging
furniture for the pizza kitchen, making play money, and
deciding on roles) and less than 10 minutes acting out
the cooking, serving, and eating of the pizza meal. One
would be hard pressed to find another type of activity
that can keep young children focused and “on task” for
this length of time.
Young Children March 2003
Specific to early literacy, descriptive research shows that
a literacy-in-play strategy is effective in increasing the range
and amount of literacy behaviors during play, thus allowing
children to practice their emerging skills and show what they
have learned (Neuman & Roskos 1992). Evidence is also ac-
cumulating that this strategy helps children learn important
literacy concepts and skills, such as knowledge about the
functions of writing (Vukelich 1993), the ability to recognize
play-related print (Neuman & Roskos 1993), and compre-
hension strategies such as self-checking and self-correction
(Neuman & Roskos 1997). Like storybook reading, the literacy
learning potential of play can be increased when it includes
before, during, and after types of scaffolding as illustrated in
“Guided Play to Explore New Words and Their Sounds.”
We are gaining empirical ground in understanding early
literacy learning well enough to identify essential content that
belongs in an early childhood curriculum. Increasingly, the
field can articulate key concepts and skills that are signifi-
cant and foundational, necessary for literacy development
and growth, research-based, and motivational to arouse and
engage children’s minds. The need to broadly distribute this
knowledge is great—but the need to act on it consistently and
carefully in instructional practice is even greater, especially if
we are to steer children clear of the bramble-bushes and on to
be successful readers and writers.
Bodrova, E., & D. Leong. 1998. Development of dramatic play in young chil-
dren and its effects on self-regulation: The Vygotskian approach. Journal
of Early Childhood Teacher Education 19 (2): 115–24.
Christie, J., & K. Roskos. 2003. Literacy in play. In Literacy in America: An
encyclopedia of history, theory and practice, ed. B. Guzzetti, 318–23. Denver,
Halliday, M.A.K. 1975. Learning how to mean. New York: Elsevier.
IRA & NAEYC. 1998. Joint Position Statement. Learning to read and write:
Developmentally appropriate practices for young children. Young Children
53 (4): 30–46. Online (overview): position_
Layzer, C. 2002. Adding ABCs to apple juice, blocks and circle time. Paper
presented at the conference, Assessing Instructional Practices in Early
Literacy and Numeracy, September, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Lewis, M. 2000. The promise of dynamic systems approaches for an inte-
grated account of human development. Child Development 71: 36–43.
Lonigan, C., & G. Whitehurst. In press. Getting ready to read: Emergent
literacy and family literacy. In “Family literacy programs: Current status
and future directions,” ed. B. Wasik. New York: Guilford.
McGee, L.M., & D.J. Richgels. 2000. Literacys beginnings: Supporting young
readers and writers. 3d ed. Needham, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Morrow, L., & L. Gambrell. 2001. Literature-based instruction in the early
years. In Handbook of early literacy research, eds. S. Neuman & D. Dickin-
son, 348–60. New York: Guilford.
NAEYC & NAECS/SDE (National Association of Early Childhood Specialists
in State Departments of Education). 2002. Joint Position Statement. Early
learning standards: Creating the conditions for success. Online: naeyc.
National Research Council. 1998. Preventing reading difficulties in young
children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council. 2000. From neurons to neighborhoods: The sci-
ence of early childhood development. Washington, DC: National Academy
Shared Reading to Learn
about Story Plot
Here is how one teacher reads There’s an
Alligator under My Bed, by Mercer Mayer, to a
group of four-year-olds.
Before reading. The teacher begins by
saying, “Let’s look at the picture on the cover
of the book. [Shows a boy in bed with an
alligator sticking out from beneath] The boy
in this story has a big problem. Can anyone
guess what that problem is?”
After the children make their guesses, the
teacher points to the title and says, “The title
of this book is There’s an Alligator under My
Bed. So Suzy and Joey were correct in guess-
ing what the boy’s problem is. How do you
think the boy will get rid of the alligator?”
After several children share their predictions,
the teacher begins reading the book aloud.
During reading. After reading the first sec-
tion of the book, which introduces the boy’s
problem, the teacher pauses and asks, “Do
you have any other ideas about how the boy
might get rid of the alligator?”
The teacher reads the next two pages,
which detail the boy’s plan to leave a trail of
bait to the garage, and then pauses to ask the
children what the word bait means.
After reading the next section, in which the
boy lays out a trail of food, the teacher asks,
“What do you think the alligator is going to
Finally, after reading the rest of the story, in
which the alligator gets trapped in the garage,
the teacher points to the note the boy left on
the door to the garage and asks, “What do
you think the boy wrote in his note?”
After reading. The teacher sparks a dis-
cussion of the book by asking several open-
ended questions, such as “What did you like
best about the story?” and “How would you
have gotten rid of that alligator?”
Later, the teacher does a follow-up small
group activity—to reinforce a sense of story
plot, she helps children sequence a few pic-
tures of the main story events.
Young Children March 2003
Guided Play to Explore New Words
and Their Sounds
With the teacher’s help, the children are creating a gas sta-
tion/garage play center as part of an ongoing unit on transpor-
Before play. The teacher provides background knowledge
by reading Sylvia’s Garage, by Debra Lee, an information
book about a woman mechanic. She discusses new words,
such as mechanic, engine, dipstick, oil.
Next, the teacher helps the children plan the play center.
She asks children about the roles they can play (e.g., gas sta-
tion attendant, mechanic, customer) and records their ideas
on a piece of chart paper. She then asks the children to brain-
storm some props that they could use in their center (e.g.,
signs, cardboard gas pump, oil can, tire pressure gauge) and
jots these down on another piece of chart paper. The children
then decide which props they will make in class and which will
be brought from home, and the teacher or a child places an m
after each make-in-class item and an h after each from home
During the next several days, the teacher helps the children
construct some of the make-in-class props, such as a sign for
the gas station (“Let’s see. . . gas starts with a g. Gary, your name
also starts with a g. Can you show us how to write a g?
The list of props from home is included in the classroom
newsletter and sent to families.
During play. The teacher first observes the children at play
to learn about their current play interests and activities. Then
she provides scaffolding that extends and enriches children’s
play and at the same time teaches important literacy skills.
She notices, for example, that the mechanics are not writing
out service orders or bills for the customers, so she takes on
a role as an assistant mechanic and models how to write out
a bill for fixing a customer’s car. She monitors her involvement
to ensure close alignment with children’s ongoing activity.
After play. During small group activity time, the teacher
helps children with a picture-sort that includes pictures of peo-
ple and objects from their garage play. They sort the pictures
into labeled columns according to beginning sounds—
/m/ (mechanic, man, map, motor); /t/ (tire, tank, top, taillight);
and /g/ (gas, gallon, garden, goat). They explore the different
feel of these sounds in the different parts of their mouths. They
think of other words they know that feel the same way.
After modeling, the teacher gives the children a small deck of
picture cards to sort, providing direct supervision and feedback.
Neuman, S.B. 2002. What research reveals: Foundations
for reading instruction in preschool and primary
education. Handout of the U.S. Department of Educa-
tion’s Early Educator Academy, 14–15 November, in
Los Angleles.
Neuman, S.B., & D. Dickinson, eds. 2001. The handbook
of early literacy research. New York: Guilford.
Neuman, S.B., & K. Roskos. 1992. Literacy objects as
cultural tools: Effects on children’s literacy behaviors
in play. Reading Research Quarterly 27 (3): 202–35.
Neuman, S.B., & K. Roskos. 1993. Access to print for
children of poverty: Differential effects of adult media-
tion and literacy-enriched play settings on environ-
mental and functional print tasks, American Educa-
tional Research Journal 30 (91): 95–122.
Neuman, S.B., & K. Roskos. 1997. Literacy knowledge in
practice: Contexts of participation for young writers
and readers. Reading Research Quarterly 32 (1): 10–33.
Olson, D.R. 1977. From utterance to text: The bias of
language in speech and writing. Harvard Educational
Review (47): 257–81.
Richgels, D.J. 2001. Invented spelling, phonemic aware-
ness, and reading and writing instruction. In Hand-
book of early literacy research, eds. S.B. Neuman & D.
Dickin-son, 142-55. New York: Guilford.
Roskos, K., C. Vukelich, J. Christie, B. Enz, & S. Neuman.
1995. Linking literacy and play. Videotape (12 min.)
and facilitator’s guide. International Reading Associa-
Schickedanz. J. 2003. Engaging preschool-ers in code
learning. In Literacy and young children, eds. D. Barone
& L. Morrow, 121–39. Newark, DE: International Read-
ing Association.
Senechal. M., J. LeFevre, K.V. Colton, & B.L. Smith. 2000.
On refining theoretical models of emergent literacy.
Journal of School Psychology 39 (5): 439–60.
Siegler, R. 2000. The rebirth of children’s learning. Child
Development 71 (1): 26–35.
Thelen, E., & L.B. Smith. 1995. A dynamic systems ap-
proach to the development of cognition and action.
Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Vukelich, C. 1993. Play: A context for exploring the func-
tions, features, and meaning of writing with peers.
Language Arts 70: 386–92.
Yaden, D., D. Rowe, & L. MacGillivary. 2000. Emergent
literacy: A matter (polophony) of perspectives. In The
handbook of reading research, vol. 3, eds. M. Kamil,
P.B. Mosenthal, P.D. Pearson, & R. Barr, 425–54. Mah-
wah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Copyright © 2003 by the National Association for the
Education of Young Children. See Permissions and Re-
prints online at
Young Children March 2003
lder babies will enjoy a special book nook. Crawlers and walkers can
get to an area where attractively arranged books are easy to reach. The
typical upright book-display racks, so popular in preschool classrooms,
are not very functional in an infant room. First, babies are not tall enough to reach the higher
shelves. A second problem is that unseasoned crawlers and walkers may lose their balance if
they must reach to obtain materials. Third, and more serious, the bookshelf itself can topple over
if toddlers try to climb on it. (Furniture should, of course, be bolted or otherwise secured to walls
or theoor.)
A book nook for babies can be made by standing some books up on the floor and laying oth-
ers flat nearby. Because the opened and standing books can be seen from a distance, they will
catch the children’s attention. A corner of the room will serve best, as traffic will not go through
the area. Make sure the area is covered with carpeting or a rug to make sitting comfortable.
Pillows are not necessary in a book area for babies, nor are they very safe. Babies often don’t
watch the floor when they walk, and they are unable to raise their feet very far off the floor. (Were
they to do so, they would lose their balance.) As a result, babies can trip over pillows. Moreover,
a book is easiest for a baby to handle in his or her lap, while sitting. Leaning against a pillow or
sitting halfway on top of one puts a baby in a position that makes
manipulating a book difficult.
Although a special place in the room is provided for books,
books do not have to stay there. Babies often get a book, look at it
for a short time, and then carry it with them as they go to another
area of the room. They might set the book aside while they engage
in another activity and then pick it up again. Toddlers might be gently
encouraged and helped to return books to the book nook when they
truly have finished with them. However, it is good to remember that
a toddler does many things while on the run. A book nook can be
thought of not so much as where books belong but as a place where
books can be found. If sturdy books only are provided (that is, books
with thick cardboard, rather than paper, pages), they will be able to
withstand the wear and tear of traveling throughout the room with a
crawler or toddler.
A book nook also provides an out-of-the-way place where adults
know they can read to children without being in the way of other
activities. While some children between 12 and 18 months sit quietly
on a lap to look at books for extended periods of time, many infants enjoy books only for a few
brief minutes at a time. They return periodically for several such episodes over a period of time.
Of course, positioning oneself in the book nook will probably draw infants to it, and they might
stay longer if an adult is there to share books with them.
Special understanding, patience, and sensitivity are required when we interact with ba-
bies and books. If we can learn to respond to babies’ signals and to share books with them
on their own terms, books can be the basis for many happy moments together.
Creating a Book Nook for Babies and Toddlers
Source: Excerpted from Judith A. Schickedanz, Much More than the ABCs: The Early Stages of Reading
and Writing (Washington, DC: NAEYC, 1999), 35–36.
© Julie Snoke
... Grundläggande kognitiva förmågor i skriftspråksutvecklingen gynnas av en undervisning som utgår från textutforskande och meningsskapande av text inom olika ämnesområden (Roskos et al., 2003) och där lärarens undervisning är språkstimulerande (Guo et al., 2012). Särskilt gynnsam är en didaktik där språkets form, funktion och innehåll är i samspel med varandra, och där läraren undervisar explicit om språkliga aspekter i funktionella sammanhang (Roskos et al., 2003;Wiksten Folkeryd et al., 2006). ...
... Grundläggande kognitiva förmågor i skriftspråksutvecklingen gynnas av en undervisning som utgår från textutforskande och meningsskapande av text inom olika ämnesområden (Roskos et al., 2003) och där lärarens undervisning är språkstimulerande (Guo et al., 2012). Särskilt gynnsam är en didaktik där språkets form, funktion och innehåll är i samspel med varandra, och där läraren undervisar explicit om språkliga aspekter i funktionella sammanhang (Roskos et al., 2003;Wiksten Folkeryd et al., 2006). Ordförrådet, som är starkt positivt korrelerat med läsförståelse, utvecklas när barnen engageras i aktiviteter som är kognitivt och språkligt stimulerande och när de uppmuntras att exempelvis samtala om och beskriva händelser samt bygga kunskaper inom olika ämnesområden (Neuman et al., 2014;Wright & Neuman, 2015). ...
... Vi ser att utforskandet i naturvetenskap möjliggör för elever att gå ut och in i de fyra praktikerna i resursmodellen i social interaktion och i funktionella sammanhang. Eleverna ges förutsättningar att stärka sina språkliga kompetenser och ämneskunskaper, vilket är grundläggande för den framväxande läsförståelsen (Dooley & Matthews, 2009;Neuman et al., 2014;Roskos et al., 2003) och bärande för den senare läs-och skrivutvecklingen (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998;Schatschneider et al., 2004). Resultatet går i linje med tidigare forskning om naturvetenskap i förskoleklass, som visat att undervisningen genomförs i social interaktion i meningsfulla sammanhang (Elm Fristorp, 2013) och stöttar unga elevers förmåga att tala om och förstå naturvetenskapliga företeelser (Lemke, 2001). ...
Full-text available
Syftet var att bidra med kunskap om läs- och skrivutvecklande undervisning i sociala praktiker genom textutforskning och meningsskapande i naturvetenskap i en förskoleklass. Studiens utgångspunkt var att undervisning i förskoleklass behöver inriktas mot gemensamt samtalande, lyssnande, skrivande och läsande i meningsfulla och funktionella situationer för att ge eleverna möjlighet att utforska språkets form, innehåll och funktion i social interaktion. Fem lektioner då aktiviteter i naturvetenskap genomfördes i förskoleklass observerades utifrån ett lärar- och undervisningsperspektiv. Analysen utfördes med utgångspunkt i Luke och Freebodys resursmodell, som behandlar fyra sociala praktiker: kodknäckarens, textskaparens, textanvändarens och den kritiska läsarens roll. Resultatet visar att utforskandet i samband med undervisning i naturvetenskap möjliggjorde för elever att röra sig mellan de fyra praktikerna i resursmodellen i social interaktion och i meningsfulla sammanhang. Eleverna gavs förutsättningar att göra språkliga upptäckter och stärka sina ämneskunskaper både enskilt och tillsammans med andra, vilket är gynnsamt för den framväxande läsförståelsen. Läraren fokuserade inte språkutveckling utan naturvetenskapen var i centrum. Artikeln diskuterar potential att stärka den läs- och skrivutvecklande didaktiken i samband med texthändelser i naturvetenskap genom explicit undervisning om språkliga aspekter i funktionella sammanhang samt genom att lyfta fram hur form, innehåll och funktion samspelar i olika texttyper.
... Similarly, in their study examining children's interest in the materials and activities used by kindergarden teachers in their pre-literacy activities, Deretarla Gül and Bal (2006) concluded that print awareness areas and materials were insufficient to support the number of children in the class. Roskos, Christie, and Richgels (2003) concluded that the materials that support children's pre-literary skills, such as pens and paper, should be placed within children's reach and sorted according to their uses.; moreover, the materials are not enough for the class size. ...
... olarak Deretarla Gül ve Bal (2006) anasınıfı öğretmenlerinin okuma yazmaya hazırlık çalışmalarına ilişkin kullanılan materyal ve etkinliklere çocukların ilgilerini inceledikleri araştırmalarında sınıflarda yaptıkları gözlemler sonucunda, yazı farkındalığına yönelik alanların ve materyallerin çocukların mevcuduna uygun olmadığı sonucuna ulaşmışlar.Roskos, Christie ve Richgels (2003) ise araştırmalarında çocukların yazı yazma becerilerini desteklemek için kalem, kâğıt vb. materyallerin onların ulaşabilecekleri şekilde ve kullanımlarına uygun olarak konumlandırılmaları gerektiği ve materyallerin sınıf mevcuduna uygun olmadığı sonucuna ulaşmışlardır. Yapılan araştırmalarda görüldüğü gibi sınıf içerisindeki materyaller ...
Okul öncesi eğitim sürecinde yazı farkındalığına yönelik becerilerinin desteklenmesi ve geliştirilmesi, çocukların okuma-yazmayı öğrenmedeki başarıları üzerinde oldukça önemli görülmektedir. Araştırmada okul öncesi eğitimde yazı farkındalığını kazandırmaya yönelik yapılan çalışmaların incelenmesi amaçlanmıştır. Nitel araştırma yönteminin kullanıldığı araştırmada çalışma grubu kolay ulaşılabilir durum örneklemi ve ölçüt örneklem yöntemlerine göre belirlenmiştir. Araştırmanın yapılacağı okullar kolay ulaşılabilir durum örneklemine göre Eskişehir İli merkez ilçelerinde bulunan bir bağımsız anaokulu ve bir ilkokulda anasınıfları olarak belirlenmiştir. Ölçüt örneklem yöntemine göre ise belirlenen okullarda görev yapan öğretmenlerin 5 yaş grubu öğretmeni olması ölçüt olarak belirlenmiş ve 12 okul öncesi öğretmeni araştırmaya katılmıştır. Araştırmada nitel araştırma veri toplama yöntemlerinden gözlem, görüşme ve doküman analizi yöntemleri kullanılmıştır. Sınıfların yazı farkındalığına yönelik kullanımının ve materyallerinin belirlenmesinde gözlem, öğretmenlerin hazırladıkları planların incelenmesinde doküman analizi ve öğretmenlerin yazı farkındalığına yönelik görüşlerinin belirlenmesinde görüşme yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Sınıfların yazı farkındalığına yönelik sahip olduğu özelliklerin belirlenmesinde gözlem yapılmış ve araştırmacılar tarafından geliştirilen gözlem formu kullanılmıştır. Öğretmenlerin Ekim, Kasım, Aralık ve Ocak ayları olmak üzere aylık ve günlük planları alınmış ve yazı farkındalığına yönelik yapılan çalışmalar doküman olarak incelenmiştir. Öğretmenlerin yazı farkındalığına yönelik görüş ve önerileri yüz yüze görüşmeler yapılarak alınmıştır. Elde edilen veriler doküman haline getirilmiş ve araştırmanın alt amaçları doğrultusunda betimsel analiz yöntemi ile incelenmiştir. Araştırmanın sonucunda okul öncesi sınıflarda yazı farkındalığına yönelik birçok materyalin bulunduğu; bu materyallerin çocukların gelişimsel özelliklerine uygun olduğu; fakat sınıflarda uygun şekillerde konumlandırılmadığı gözlemlenmiştir. Okul öncesi öğretmenlerin planlarında en fazla bütünleştirilmiş etkinlikleri tercih ettikleri, bu etkinliklerde en fazla “Küçük kas kullanımı gerektiren hareketleri yapar.” kazanımına yer verdikleri tespit edilmiştir. Yapılan görüşmelerde ise öğretmenlerin yazı farkındalığını geliştirmeye yönelik çalışmalarında büyük grup etkinliklerini tercih ettikleri ve yazı farkındalığını geliştirmek için en fazla kalem tutma becerisinin kazandırılmasını ifade ettikleri görülmüştür. Öğretmenlerin yazı farkındalığına yönelik ise doğrudan ilgili kazanımlara değinmedikleri görülmüştür. Öğretmenler çoğunlukla okul öncesi dönemde yazı farkındalığının desteklenmesi gerektiğini ifade etmiş ve yazı farkındalığını desteklemeye yönelik dokuz farklı öneride bulunmuştur. Elde edilen sonuçlar alan yazında tartışılmıştır.
... Early literacy framings had a cognitive, deterministic perspective and focussed on direct transmission of functional basics (Berge, 2004;Ong, 1982 Reading, writing, and speaking are thus seen as inherently personal and social activities to be learned in informal unstructured (fun) ways as well as formal structured ways. European studies on functional aspects of writing such as hand-writing/lettering and vocabulary learning (Cho and McBride, 2018;Cordeiro, Castro, and Limpo, 2018;Walgermo, Foldnes, Uppstad, and Solheim, 2018 Bollinger and Myers, 2020;Gerde et al., 2012;Puranik and Lonigan, 2011;Roskos, Christie, and Richgels, 2003). However these alone are insufficient (Diamond, Gerde, and Powell, 2008;Guo, Justice, Kaderavek, and McGinty, 2012). ...
... individualised and whole group instruction methods including facilitated play and teacher-directed activity stations stimulating ideas or writing generation processes Gerde et al., 2015;Guo et al., 2012;Roskos et al., 2003;Roskos, Tabors, and Lenhart, 2009; Williams, Larkin, Coyne-Umfreville, and Herbert, ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This literature review examines the needs, policy and curricula alignments, theories, empirical peer-reviewed research studies and program feedback samples supporting the Story Factory’s work. It looks specifically at four areas. 1. Research and theories aligning with the Theory of Change underpinning all Story Factory programs; 2. Alignment between Story Factory programs and national and NSW education policy and curricular goals; 3. Alignment between Story Factory programs and research and theories on literacy; 4. Alignment between Story Factory programs and research and theories on how to develop critical and creative thinking skills.
... The colour of the fox and the black colour of the bird should be mentioned. We can use phonological exercises for the purpose of speech development and language learning and adoption (Brock and Rankin 2008;Roskos, Christie, and Richgels 2003). The teacher reads the sound the bird makes from the pages of the picture book Kraa! (Grak!). ...
... The colour of the fox and the black colour of the bird should be mentioned. We can use phonological exercises for the purpose of speech development and language learning and adoption (Brock and Rankin 2008;Roskos, Christie, and Richgels 2003). The teacher reads the sound the bird makes from the pages of the picture book Kraa! (Grak!). ...
Full-text available
The literacy ability of early childhood is inseparable from their teacher’s role in teaching literacy for children. The knowledge and methods used by the teacher are expected to be able to improve children's skills to comprehend the content of text and become active readers in the future. This research aims to find out teacher's perception towards early childhood literacy development methods in ‘Aisyiyah Bustanul Athfal (ABA) Kindergarten in Depok Sub-district. The research method employed in this research is qualitative descriptive. The sampling technique is purposive sampling in order to obtain 8 participants out of 4 kindergartens in Depok Sub-district. The research data were analyzed by thematic analysis technique using NVivo 12 software. The findings revealed that: (1) teachers’ perception towards early childhood literacy development is mostly defined as the skill to reading and writing. (2) Teacher implementation on the early childhood literacy is carried out through activities involving printed learning media. (3) The development method for early childhood literacy learning is still limited to storytelling and writing. (4) School support for early childhood literacy development methods consists of providing facilities and infrastructures, and supporting teachers create published story books. However, the problems and obstacles faced by teachers are the lack of availability of reading books and inadequate infrastructure.
Full-text available
This article examines the functionality of literacy and numeracy in Addis Ababa city administration. Case study research design was employed and data were collected from 8 actual teachers via interview. Besides, classroom observation and content analysis were employed. The finding revealed that on average 65(59.88%) of mathematics students’ textbook had at least one picture or symbol. Also, 182(44.86%) of activities, examples and question incorporated in the textbooks related with the life of the students. On the other hand, on average 60 (43.02%) of English textbook incorporated at least one picture or symbol. The finding also revealed that 272 (64.61%) of activities and examples, and 19 (63.0%) of stories, poems, songs, and passages included in the English textbooks related with the life of the students. The functionality of the textbooks was average but the instructional methods require improvement.
Full-text available
The subject of this PhD thesis is "Knowledge, perceptions and practices of kindergarten and first grade primary school teachers for the relationship between emergent/first and conventional/school literacy". The purpose of this research study is the investigation of the relationship between emergent/first and conventional/school literacy in the area where they first appear, that is, in kindergarten and the first grade of primary school. In particular, the language curricula of kindergarten and first grade of primary school are studied, and the perceptions of kindergarten and first grade teachers are explored on the issue of the existence of a connection between the two levels, kindergarten and primary school, in terms of enhancing literacy and their practices. In this PhD thesis we were concerned with the answer to the following research questions: a) are kindergarten teachers familiar with the basic principles and methodology proposed in the Cross Thematic Curriculum Framework for Kindergarten (DEPPS) and the Kindergarten Teacher's Guide regarding literacy and what are their perceptions of them? b) Are the teachers of the first grade of primary school aware of the basic principles and the methodology delineated in the Cross Thematic Curriculum Framework for Compulsory Education (DEPPS) and in the Teacher's Book, in terms of language and what are their perceptions of them? c) Are the kindergarten teachers aware of the language teaching program in the primary school and accordingly, do the primary school teachers know the literacy practices that take place in the kindergarten? What perceptions do they have about them? d) What are the perceptions of kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers about the possible integration of the curricula of kindergarten and of the first grade of primary school, regarding the language module? e) What are the practices adopted by kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers in their literacy classes (which literacy pedagogy do they seem to support)? f) To what extent are kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers influenced by parents' expectations and concerns regarding their children's literacy and what practices do they adopt to cooperate with them? g) What are the perceptions and practices of the kindergarten teachers and the first grade teachers of the primary school for the cooperation between them, regarding the teaching of language? The research data were collected: a) by providing a questionnaire to a final sample of 326 kindergarten teachers and 306 teachers who teach the year of the process in the first grade of primary schools in the prefectures of Achaia and Ilia (Region of Western Greece), and b) by conducting semi-structured interviews with 32 kindergarten teachers and primary school teachers chosen among those who completed the questionnaire. Our research findings revealed partial knowledge of the curricula by kindergarten teachers and school teachers, an ignorance of the principles and methodology of the level that follows or precedes their own, respectively, a "confusion" of their perceptions and teaching practices, divergence between theoretical principles and teaching practices at every level, discontinuity of the literacy enhancement program from kindergarten to primary school, lack of effective cooperation between them, lack of substantial interest from parents regarding literacy, hesitation and critical disposition of teachers concerning the possible unification of the two curricula. The educators who participated in the research proposed joint training of kindergarten teachers and first grade teachers by establishing a framework for effective cooperation between them and planning joint actions, cooperation with parents to ensure the continuation of the literacy program from home to kindergarten and from kindergarten to primary school, as well as partial integration of the curricula of kindergarten and of the first grades of primary school, only in terms of some axes and goals. The work concludes with the use of the findings from which arises the proposal to create the above framework to function as a bridge between the kindergarten and the first grade of primary school with obvious positive results for young students, teachers and the school community at large.
Persistent concerns about income and social inequality have raised questions about how to address opportunity gaps in access to literacy learning for low‐income young children. Recognizing the need to strengthen learning opportunities, this study examines how specially designed hybrid spaces within the ‘everyday’ place of a neighborhood laundromat might support children’s literacy development. Twenty laundromats in high‐poverty neighborhoods from a large urban city participated in the research: 10 in which small spaces were reconfigured to create literacy‐related play settings; 10, in which remained “business as usual” control sites. Conducted over two phases, the 7‐month study examined changes in children’s literacy activities resulting from the physical design changes alone, and subsequent changes when combined with a trusted messenger, a public librarian, who assisted in their activities. Results indicated that these hybrid spaces dramatically increased children’s time on literacy‐related activities, especially when given adult assistance, averaging 47‐minutes per child of sustained activity. These results suggest that intentionally‐designed everyday spaces may play an important role in increasing young children’s access to resources and opportunity to learn. Persistent concerns about income and social inequality have raised questions about how to address opportunity gaps in access to literacy learning for low‐income young children. Recognizing the need to strengthen learning opportunities, this study examines how specially designed hybrid spaces within the ‘everyday’ place of a neighborhood laundromat might support children’s literacy development.
Full-text available
After decades of theoretical fragmentation and insularity, a converging explanatory framework based on general scientific principles is an important goal for developmental psychology. Dynamic systems approaches may provide such a framework, using principles of self-organization to explain how novel forms emerge without predetermination and become increasingly complex with development. New trends in traditional theoretical families emphasize systemic, emergent processes, and these can now be explicated with principles of self-organization that apply to all natural systems. Self-organization thus provides a single explanation for the multiple facets of development, integrating diverse developmental viewpoints within a larger scientific perspective.
Adult language comprises three interrelated systems, phonological, lexicogrammatical (vocabulary, morphology, syntax), and semantic. Language development studies in the 1960s focused mainly on the lexicogrammatical level; they were also predominantly psycholinguistic in their orientation. More recently, interest has extended into semantics; the present paper is concerned with the learning of meaning, and proposes a complementary approach in sociolinguistic terms. The paper suggests a socio-semantic interpretation of language development, based on the intensive study of one child, Nigel, from 9 months to 2½ years. Nigel first developed (Phase I) a two-level system, having sounds and meanings but no words or structures, in which the meanings derived from the elementary social functions of interaction with others, satisfaction of needs and the like. This continued to expand for 6–9 months, at which time the child entered the stage of transition to the adult language (Phase II, corresponding to what is generally taken as the starting point). This was characterized by the interpolation of a lexicogrammatical level between meaning and sound, and by the mastery of the principle of dialogue, the adoption and assignment of speech roles. It was also marked by a generalization of the initial set of social functions to form a basic opposition between “language as learning” and “language as doing.” The transition was considered complete when the child had effectively replaced his original two-level system by a three-level one and moved from monologue into dialogue; he then entered the adult system (Phase III). He could now build up the meaning potential of the adult language, and would continue to do so all his life. From a sociolinguistic point of view the major step consisted in once again reinterpreting the concept of “function” so that it became the organizing principle of the adult semantic system, being built into the heart of language in the form of the ideational (representational, referential, cognitive) and the interpersonal (expressive-conative, stylistic, social) components of meaning. All utterances in adult speech contain both these components, which are mapped on to each other by the structure-forming agency of the grammar. The original social functions survive in their concrete sense as types of situation and setting, the social contexts in which language serves in the transmission of culture to the child
This study examined the effects of literacy-enriched play settings on preschoolers' literacy behaviors in spontaneous free play. 91 children, ages 3-5, from two urban day-care centers participated in the study. Prior to and following the intervention, the frequency of each child's handling, reading, and writing behaviors in play was assessed through direct observation. Videotaped samples of play areas examined the nature of children's play themes and their uses of literacy objects in play. Following baseline observations, the physical environment of one of the day-care centers was enriched with literacy objects in three distinct play centers: kitchen, office, and library. Significant differences were recorded for the intervention group in the frequency, duration, and complexity of literacy demonstrations in play. Further, children in the intervention group incorporated literacy objects in more diverse and functional ways in their play, using more explicit language than the nonintervention group. /// [French] Cette etude a porté sur les effets de situations de jeu comportant des objets pour lire et écrire sur les comportements relatifs à la lecture-écriture d'enfants d'âge préscolaire en situation de jeu spontané et sans contrainte. 91 enfants, de 3 à 5 ans, provenant de deux centres d'une ville, ont participé à la recherche. On a évalué par observation directe la fréquence des comportements de saisie, de lecture et d'écriture de chaque enfant, avant et après intervention. Des échantillons vidéo des domaines de jeu portent sur les thèmes de jeu et sur l'utilisation objects pour lire et écrire. Conformément aux observations de départ, l'environnement physique de l'un des centres comporte des objets pour lire et écrire, appartenant à trois domaines différents: la Cuisine, le Bureau, et la Bibliothèque. On a relevé des différences significatives pour le groupe d'intervention en fréquence, durée et complexité des manifestations de lecture-écriture. En outre, les enfants du groupe d'intervention ont introduit les objets de lecture-écriture. En outre, les enfants du groupe d'intervention ont introduit dans leurs jeux les objets de lecture-écriture de façon plus diversifiée et plus fonctionnelle, tout en utilisant un langage plus explicite que ceux du groupe sans intervention. /// [Spanish] Este estudio examinó los efectos de medio ambientes de juegos de alfabetización enriquecidos en las conductas alfabetizadoras de niños en edad pre-escolar durante juegos espontáneos. Participaron 91 niños entre 3-5 años, de dos centros urbanos pre-escolares. Mediante la observación directa antes y durante la intervención, se verificó la frecuencia de cada niño en el comportamiento y manejo de la lectura y la escritura durante el juego. Se grabaron videos de las areas de juego que examinaron la naturaleza de los temas y los usos de objetos de alfabetización. Continuando las observaciones básicas, el entorno físico de uno de los centros urbanos pre-escolares fue enriquecido con objetos alfabetizantes de tres centros de juegos distintos: la Cocina, La Oficina, y la Biblioteca. Se registraron diferencias significativas en el grupo intervenido en lo que hace a la frecuencia, duración y complejidad de las demostraciones alfabetizantes del juego. Más aún, los niños del grupo intervenido incorporaron objetos de alfabetización durante sus juegos de formas más diversas y funcionales utilizando lenguaje más explícito que el grupo no intervenido. /// [German] Die vorliegende Studie untersucht Auswirkungen von schriftsprachlich angereicherten Spielumgebungen auf das Lese-Rechtschreib-Verhalten von Vorschulkindern im spontanen freien Spiel. 91 Kinder im Alter zwischen 3 und 5 Jahren aus zwei städtischen Kindertagesstätten nahmen an der Studie teil. Vor und nach der Intervention wurde für jedes Kind die Häufigkeiten der Objekthandhabung, des Lesens und Schreibens durch direkte Beobachtung erfaßt. Die Spielthemen der Kinder wurden anhand stichprobenartiger Videoaufzeichnungen der Spielzonen erhoben. In einer der Tagesstätten wurde nach der baseline-Beobachtung die Umgebung von drei Spielzentren (Küche, Büro und Bibliothek) mit schriftsprachlichen Objekten angereichert. In der Interventionsgruppe zeigten sich signifikante Unterschiede hinsichtlich der Häufigkeit, Dauer und Komplexität von schriftsprachlichem Verhalten im Spiel. Weiterhin bezogen die Kinder der Interventionsgruppe Leseobjekte in vielfältigerer und stärker funktionaler Weise in ihr Spiel ein und verwendeten explizitere Sprache als die Kinder der Kontrollgruppe.
Reviews the role of social interaction in literacy knowledge construction and the importance of the enrichment of the classroom environment in promoting literacy interactions. Describes the information about writing embedded in a group of kindergartners' interactions during play. (RS)
Argues that current controversies about meaning, comprehension, acquisition, reading, and reasoning as functions of language are rooted in differing assumptions about the extrinsic or intrinsic relation of meaning to language. On both individual and cultural levels, there has been development from language as utterance (meaning extrinsic to language) to language as text (meaning intrinsic to language). Schooling, particularly learning to read, is for the individual the critical process in the transformation from utterance to text. The history of conventionalized, explicit language is traced from the invention of the Greek alphabet to the rise of the British essay. The resulting concept of language is discussed, with its implications for the linguistic, psychological, and logical issues previously raised. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Learning is a central part of children's lives, but the study of learning is a rather peripheral part of the field of cognitive development. Fortunately, this situation is starting to change; recent theoretical and methodological advances have sparked renewed interest in children's learning. This renewed interest has already yielded a set of consistent and interesting findings regarding how children learn, as well as intriguing proposals regarding the mechanisms that underlie the learning. Increasing our focus on children's learning promises to yield practical benefits as well as a more exciting field of cognitive development.
Engaging preschool-ers in code learning
  • J Schickedanz
Schickedanz. J. 2003. Engaging preschool-ers in code learning. In Literacy and young children, eds. D. Barone & L. Morrow, 121–39. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Invented spelling, phonemic awareness , and reading and writing instruction
  • D J Richgels
Richgels, D.J. 2001. Invented spelling, phonemic awareness, and reading and writing instruction. In Handbook of early literacy research, eds. S.B. Neuman & D. Dickin-son, 142-55. New York: Guilford.
From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development tion's Early Educator Academy
  • Research National
  • Council
National Research Council. 2000. From neurons to neighborhoods: The science of early childhood development. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. tion's Early Educator Academy, 14–15 November, in Los Angleles.