Adams, M. J. (1998). Beginning to Read: Thinking
and Learning about Print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
This text discusses current
research in the field of early literacy and serves as an excellent guide for
those involved in all areas of emergent literacy acquisition. Discussion of
topics such as research on prereaders, reading and writing acquisition
skills, and teaching techniques for developing phonemic awareness are
included. The “phonics debate”, best predictors of successful letter
knowledge acquisition and the importance of exposure to print-rich
environments are all included.
Adams, M. J., Forman, B. R., Lundberg, I. & Beeley, T.
(1998). Phonemic Awareness in Young Children: A Classroom Curriculum. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing
In this supplemental language
and reading curriculum activities are designed for Preschool through Grade
1. Curriculum is geared to accommodate individual learning and teaching
styles. The goal of the program is to develop linguistic awareness, in
particular phonemic awareness with a goal of cognitively preparing young
children to learn to read and write. The program is developmentally
sequenced for one school year. An informal Phonological Awareness Assessment
includes Detecting Rhymes, Counting Syllables, Matching Initial Sounds,
Counting Phonemes, Comparing Word Lengths and Representing Phonemes with
Letters. Descriptions for each subtest, administration procedure, scoring
and interpretation of the results are provided.
Ball, E., & Blachman,
B. (1991). Does phoneme awareness training in kindergarten make a difference
in early word recognition and developmental spelling?
Quarterly, 26(1), 49-66.
Refer to Abstract – Ball, E. & Blachman, B.
and Your Child – A Guide to Helping Your Baby or Preschooler Become a Better
Reader. (1999). Newark, DE: International Reading
informative, easy to read booklet designed for parents. Beginning literacy
originates in the home environment. Parents often want to help their child
“learn to read” yet are afraid of approaching it the “wrong” way. This
booklet suggests ways to make literacy part of daily life for the preschool
Blevins, W. (1998)
Phonics from A to Z – A Practical Guide to Teaching Strategies Grades K-3.
New York, NY: Scholastic.
This easy-to-use resource is filled with
excellent ideas, activities and additional resources!
Bousa, M., Thompson, P. & Farlow, N. (1997).
Self-Selected Journal Writing in the Kindergarten Classroom: Five
Conditions that Foster Literacy Development. Reading Horizons,
Based on the authors'
research five conditions to facilitate literacy development through journal
writing are discussed. Condition 1: A Print Rich Environment -
Opportunities for students to explore language in a variety of contexts.
Children are engaged in meaningful literacy experiences that include
listening to and reading quality literature, many opportunities to engage in
environmental print, interactions with real life literacy props. The
teacher acts as a guide.
Writing materials are varied and are always accessible
to the students. Condition 2: Scheduling - Consistently scheduled
journal writing time which allows for oral discussion, mini-lessons,
demonstrations, as well as individual conferencing. Condition 3:
Teacher Modeling - Whole class, a multitude of daily activities that
emphasize the thought process involved in writing. Provide opportunities
that occur naturally, morning message composed by the students. Journal
Writing - the teacher asks students to read what they have written and
teacher writes them in standard form on their entries. Condition 4:
Honeybee Conferences - Teachers hold “momentary conferences' with each child
for coaching and encouragement and provides opportunities for scaffolding on
a 1:1 basis. Condition 5: Sharing - Sharing is an integral part of
the entire process of journal writing. Children talk about their writings
in progress in small groups and are given the opportunity to share daily.
All five conditions cultivate an environment that allows students to view
themselves as writers.
Bridge, C. A., Winograd, P. N. & Haley, D. (1983).
Using predictable materials vs. preprimers to teach beginning
sight words. The Reading Teacher, 36(9), 884-891.
Brown, D. L., &
Briggs, L .D. (1987). Collaborative Learning: Bridging the Gap Between Reading and Writing.
Improvement, 24(4), 278-281.
Reading and writing occur simultaneously,
and both are developed early in life. Reading and writing develop in social
contexts. Experiences such as language experience stories where the child
dictates a story, teacher writes the story, the story is read to the class;
reinforce the reading and writing relationship in an authentic and enjoyable
way. Constantly fostering the child's interest and interactions with books
enables them to discover that print is meaningful and functional. Student's
literacy development can be enhanced by exposing them to various types of
literature, instructing students through authentic writing experiences, and
by providing opportunities for them to share their work.
Brown, D. L. &
Briggs, L. D. (1987). Becoming Literate: The Acquisition of Story Discourse.
Reading Horizons, 32
Refer to Abstract - Brown, D. L. & Briggs,
L. D. (1987)
Bryan, J. W. (1999).
Readers' workshop in a kindergarten classroom. The Reading Teacher,
Establishing Readers' workshop in a
Kindergarten classroom serves multiple purposes. Although DEAR (Drop
Everything and Read) is an excellent way to foster literacy growth, Readers'
workshop, thoughtfully and efficiently implemented, allows time for a
teacher to access and work with small groups of children. Student's
ability levels are varied in any typical Kindergarten classroom.
Literacy acquisition skills that are more intensive are necessary for the
non-readers, whereas students who are readers need to be challenged.
Establishing Reader's Workshop in the
classroom requires efficient classroom management skills, and a predictable
routine. Reader's Workshop begins with the teacher reading quality
literature, encouraging and guiding discussions, and providing informal
instruction through use of “mini-lessons”. Each child is provided a
“shopping bag” (that has been filled in advance) containing books of their
choice (oftentimes picture books), as well as one that has already been read
together as a class. Students move from one “literacy activity” to another
independently, which provides time for the teacher to work with small groups
Burgess, S. (2002).
Shared Reading Correlates of Early Reading Skills. Reading Online, 5(7).
This article describes a study
that examined the relations between shared reading and the development of
phonological sensitivity and oral language skills in very young children. A
Preschool population of 115 four-and-five year olds was assessed using two
standardized measures of oral language and four tests of phonological
sensitivity. A home literacy questionnaire was used to determine shared
reading patterns of the family. Results indicated that early exposure to
literacy in the form of shared reading is related to educational and
developmental outcomes, more specifically phonological sensitivity and
multiple measures of language development.
Clay, M. (1987). Writing begins at home – Preparing
children for writing before they go to school.
Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Writing begins at home
is a book for parents of preschoolers. It contains myriad samples of
children's “writing”. The author attempts to capture thought processes
about what young see in their environment. – signs, symbols, etc. The
author effectively offers parents concrete examples that will enable the
parent to support and expand a discovery-based movement toward early
emergent and emergent writing.
Clay, M.M. (2000).
Concepts About Print: What have children learned about the way we print
language? Portsmouth, NH: Heinenman.
about print are learned gradually. Given the various opportunities
different children may have had prior to school, their knowledge about print
are at various levels of development. Administration of this assessment
allows a teacher to know where each student in the class is currently
functioning regarding their orientation to print. Concepts that a child
displays difficulty with can then be developed within balanced literacy
about Print (C.A.P) observation task is administered 1:1. Scaled Scores are
available for ages 5 through 7 years old. Three story booklets (which must
be purchased separately) have been specially prepared for the observation.
As the observer reads the booklet the child is casually asked to help the
observer by pointing to certain features (e.g. front of book, bottom of
picture, meaning of a question mark) of the text while the book is being
read. A checklist and scoring standards are provided.
Scaled scores are provided for ages 5
through 7. Concepts about print that a child had difficulty with are
documented and serve as a baseline that can be used to observe individual
Coate, S., & Castle
M. (1989). Integrating LEA and invented spelling in kindergarten.
The Reading Teacher,
Integrating the Language
Experience Approach (LEA) and invented spelling is a practical
approach to teaching writing and reading in Kindergarten. Several
stages of spelling can be found in most Kindergarten classes. Students who
are functioning in early phonetic, phonetic and transitional spelling stages
can be called inventive spellers. Inventive spellers have some of the skills
needed to decode words they have written.
Using the LEA approach
requires a child to first draw a picture of choice. A child dictates
to the teacher, the child reads and rereads the text. The benefits of
integrating LEA and invented spelling are multifaceted. Conventions of
print – words and sentences are read and written left to right, letter sound
knowledge, concept of “wordness” groups of letters form words, sentences are
comprised of words with spaces between them are all reinforced in this
authentic literacy approach.
Cohn, M., (1981).
Observations of Learning to Read and Write Naturally. Language
Arts, 58 (5), 549-555.
Reading and writing can develop in the same
natural manner as spoken language, provided that the conditions for learning
are similar. Optimum conditions include a stimulating environment,
encouragement, and a relaxed and nurturing adult attitude. Parents,
teachers, adults and older siblings working with young children need to be
as patient and tolerant during the development of children's literacy skills
as they are while speech is developing. Successive approximations are
welcomed during oral language development and should continue to be during
reading and writing stages. Children need to receive praise for
approximations, however children are often corrected for “doing it the wrong
way” at this very crucial stage in literacy development. The progression of
skills that occurs during developmental stages of reading and writing need
to be understood, acknowledged, and nurtured by parent and teachers.
Combs, Martha. (1987). Modeling the
reading process with Enlarged Texts. The Reading Teacher, 40(4), 442-426.
This study focused on
kindergarteners' response to traditional and modeled read- aloud
approaches. A “traditional model” focus upon enjoying the story. Following
an introduction and statement regarding context the text is read with brief
pauses to point out items of interest; the conclusion consists of brief
questioning. The “modeled approach” focuses on enjoyment of the story and
more importantly modeling aspects of the reading process. Enlarged version
of the text, modeling think alouds, allowing the children to make
predictions while the story is being read are all important components.
Teachers model convention of print. Using the “modeled approach” marked
attentiveness is apparent as are improved recall and comprehension and signs
of emergent convention of print as students “reread” text. Given the
opportunity to experience reading as a visual and thought process encourages
children to take active roles their own learning, children see and
experience pictures and print.
Corter, Carl, Ed.
And Park, Norman W., Ed. (1993). What Makes Exemplary Kindergarten
Programs Effective? Les programmes Exempliaires de Jardins D'enfants.
Queen's Printer for Ontario, Toronto, Ontario. ISBN 0-7778-0522-7
This in-depth study identified and analyzed
exemplary and effective programs available in Canada for kindergarten
students. The broad-based research team included members from faculties of
education, boards of education, early childhood education programs, a
research consulting firm, child development researchers, and
teacher-practitioners. The study contains a collection of background
information from the literature on kindergarten practices.
review includes sections on play and problem solving, taking into
consideration the many influences – child variables, environmental
influences on play, social influence as well as teacher influences on
children's play behaviors. The Language and Literacy chapter focused on
oral and written language. Much of the research and application suggestions
in this area mirror those currently used in the United States. The final
section of the report was a case study that presented five exemplary
Cunningham, P. and
Cunningham, J. W. (1992). Making Words: Enhancing the invented spelling –decoding connection.
The Reading Teacher,
“Making Words” is a group guided invented
spelling instructional strategy. “Making Words” is a very effective means
for phonemic awareness training, encouraging discovery of how the alphabetic
system works. “Making Word” is an activity in which children are
individually given targeted letters, those that comprise the “final word”,
(on small cards) which they will use to make words of increasing length.
The strategy incorporates letter patterns, rhyming words, plurals, etc. The
authors are quick to caution that “Making Words” should not be used instead
of writing with invented spelling; rather it should be used along with
regular writing activities to increase decoding ability. Classrooms in which
“Making Word” and writing with invented spelling are being used side by side
are having encouraging results on the decoding abilities of the students
without traditional phonics instruction.
Cunningham, P. and
Allington, R.L. (1999). Classrooms That Work – They Can All Read and Write.
New York, NY: Addison Wesley Longman,
text is an excellent resource. It contains a myriad of ideas, activities
and strategies, all of which are carefully explained, easy to understand and
follow. Practices included in this book are all research-based and “state of
the art”. The authors delineate components of a balanced reading program,
and explain how to integrate them utilizing authentic reading and writing
activities. Very comprehensive – a must read!
Dickinson, A. and Hylton, H. 1989, Kinder Grind. Time, 154
Teachers often voice their concern and
frustration regarding the lack of time in the Kindergarten day (1/2 day and
well as full day) to cover everything that they are required to. A
consequence of “Push-down” academics is that children are spending an
unreasonable (an developmentally inappropriate) amount of time “sitting
still, listening to the teacher and drilling on the basics”. Standardized
curriculum and testing on the primary level is becoming commonplace.
Teachers and childhood developmental experts are concerned with this
An emphasis on reading and math conflicts with the
“developmental model”: helping children with story comprehension before
teaching them to read, and letting them discover math concepts in tactile
ways, with sets of manipulatives. Implementing “creative” programming that
will meet the curriculum demands while providing young students with
developmentally appropriate experiences and instruction is possible;
teachers who are concerned with the current practices need to be creative in
the means they provide the mandated instruction to their students. Employing
volunteers to help in the classroom allows for the opportunity to “nurture
comprehensive learning in small groups. ”
Dowhower, S., &
Beagle, K. G. (1998). The print environment in kindergartens: A study of conventional and holistic
teachers and their classrooms in three settings. Reading
Research and Instruction, 37(3), 161-190.
Refer to Abstract - Dowhower, S., & Beagle,
K. G. (1998)
Duffy, G. G.,
Hoffman, J.V. (1999). In pursuit of an illusion: The flawed search for a perfect method.
The reading profession is currently under a
very public and political assault. “Teachers don't teach in the right way”.
“Students in the U.S. are failing to learn to read on a scale unparalleled
in our history”. In response many legislatures have actually passed laws
that force teachers, as well as teacher educators to use a single
instructional method – usually a prescriptive phonics program. There isn't
nor should it be alluded that a “perfect method” for teaching reading
In many instances teachers are being forced to use certain methods;
literature based, phonics based, or basal based (as well as others including
whole language, personalized reading, programmed reading, computer
programs). Ironically a reading program that encompasses the three
programs mentioned above would actually constitute a well-balanced literacy
program. The responsibility lies on teachers and teacher educators to
convey the message, and more importantly demonstrate to the public that they
are capable of making informed professional decisions, based on professional
knowledge of programs and practices.
Best literacy programs are combinations determined by the teacher to meet
the needs of all the children in the classroom. The goal of literacy
instruction is to improve reading achievement and foster a love for reading;
teachers, policy makers, researchers and teacher educators need to work
together to attain this goal.
Dyson, A. H.,
(1983). The role of Oral Language in Early Writing Processes. Research in the Teaching of English,
The purpose of this study was
to examine the role of early language in early writing. Data collection
took place daily over a 3-month period in a Kindergarten classroom. The
researcher set up a writing center where the children were asked to
“write”. The children were not directed what or how to write. Dyson
observed the children's talk and their written products at the center.
Results indicated that oral language is an integral part of the early
writing process; young children's approximations to conventional writing and
purpose for writing vary. Talk provided both meaning and for some children
the systematic means for getting that meaning on paper.
Dyson, Anne Hass. (1987). The Value of “Time Off
Task”: Young Children's Spontaneous Talk and
Deliberate Text. Harvard Educational Review, 57(4) 396-420.
Young students' spontaneous,
unsanctioned talk in the classroom, often regarded as “time off task”, can
become occasions for engaging in intellectually demanding tasks. This study was conducted over a 2-year period of time
in an urban elementary school. Observations were conducted during the
language arts period in a kindergarten and first/second grade classes an
average of twice per week from January through May 1985 and February through
May 1986. The author (1985 and 1986) and two research assistants (1986 only)
acted as participant observers who adopted the role of reactive adult,
rather than that of directive teacher. They gather holistic, descriptive
data: audiotapes of the children's talk, their drawn and written products,
and handwritten observations of their behavior. From the initial pool of
children eight students – four Kindergarteners and four first graders- were
chosen as case studies.
Within the “rich and noisy
talk of the peer group” it was obvious that the children not only helped
each other extend and elaborate their worlds, they also critiqued those
worlds. It was observed that journal time was a social occasion during
which children engaged in joint activity, constructed words together, and
interacted about their separate activities, analyzing the adequacy of each
other's efforts and served as an interested and perhaps even appreciative
Ehri, L. C., Robbins, C. (1992). Beginners need some
decoding skill to read words by analogy. The Reading Teacher, 27(1) 13-27.
Analogy refers to a reader's ability to
recognize that known and new words share the same rime but have different
onsets. Ehri and Robbins conducted this study to take a look at the reading
skills of beginning readers who are able to read words by analogy. “Novice” readers tend to read words by remembering
partial letter sound cues in the words, usually the first and final
letters. This approach, referred to as phonetic cue reading, is not
sufficient to read words by analogy. “Phonetic cue” readers lack decoding
skills necessary to be able to blend a new onset with an old rime. When
presented with known and new words that share the same letters they misread
the new words as old words rather than analogize.
Nonreaders are unable to read
words by analogy as they lack the decoding knowledge necessary to perform
the requisite operations. Students need to acquire some letter sound
analytic skill in order to understand how letters symbolize sounds, how to
divide words into subunits, and how to blend parts of known word with parts
of new words. Phonological recoding skills assist beginning readers in
reading unknown words by analogy to unknown words. It enables them to
segment spellings into onset and rime subunits and to recombine these units
to form new words. Phonological recoding skills also enable beginning
readers to store words in lexical memory by forming connections between
graphemes in spellings and phonemes in pronunciations.
(1988). Kindergarten reading programs to grow on. The Reading Teacher,
A successful Kindergarten program provides
learning opportunities as opposed to attempting to teach formal reading
skills. Kindergarten reading programs ought to be structured but not
formal. Formal programs do not meet the needs of young Kindergarten
students. A common occurrence in many Kindergarten programs is that first
grade reading programs (as a result of the “push-down” curriculum) are now
being implemented. Consequently, the students are being deprived of
developmentally appropriate and research based practices.
Capitalize on young student's intrinsic motivation and desire to become
readers, provide a language and print rich environment with discovery and
inquiry based curriculum. An ideal combination for building a sound
foundation for literacy is a kindergarten teacher who is knowledgeable about
the follows the “sound” practices of literacy instruction and young children
with a curiosity and desire to learn to read.
(2000/2001). Using think-alouds to analyze decision making during spelling word sorts.
Reading Online,(4) 6.
Think-alouds have been used to collect
systematic observations about higher-level processes and improve children's
metacognitive abilities. Student's think-alouds are used to provide a
window on the process of sorting. Data is gathered while the student is
engaged in word sorting activities. The information gathered from these
think-alouds is used to tailor instruction to meet individual students'
needs. This hands-on activity focuses on active, thoughtful problem solving
that helps students compare and contrast various aspect of the language.
Word sorting activities are frequently used at the emergent and early
reading stages, as they are an enjoyable means of facilitating phonemic
awareness as well as emergent spelling abilities.
Fuchs, Lynn S., Thompson, Anneke., Otaiba, Stephanie Al., Yes, Loulee., Yang, Nancy., and Braun, Mary.
(2001). Is Reading Important in Reading-readiness Programs? A Randomized
Field Trial with Teachers as Program Implementers. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 93(2), 251-267.
Refer to Abstract - Fuchs, Douglas., Fuchs,
Lynn S., Thompson, Anneke., Otaiba, Stephanie Al., Yes, Loulee., Yang,
Nancy., and Braun, Mary (2001)
Ehri, Linnea C., Cress, Cheryl., O'Hara, Colleen. , Donnelly, Katharine (1996/1997) Procedures for word learning:
Making discoveries about words. The Reading Teacher, 50, (4), 312-326.
In the Benchmark Word Identification (BWI)
program students were taught to read a set of key words that were
high-frequency words in English and have common spelling patterns. After the
BWI program had been used for a year it was reevaluated in response to a
concern that approximately 15% of students continued to be slow readers and
tended to spell incorrectly. In an effort to improve their the BWI program
the authors reviewed word-learning literature and concluded that
word-learning efficiency could be improved by teaching students procedures
for learning words in a fully analyzed way, rather than expecting them to
figure out the spelling systems on their own.
Word-learning procedures were
successfully added to the original BWI program utilizing a guided discovery
and an inductive approach for student's efficient learning. Students
generated and verbalized their discoveries about regularities in language.
Teachers helped students develop metacognitive knowledge about their leaning
processes. Students were taught the what's, whys, when, and hows of
instruction, which increased their motivation to apply their newly acquired
and developing “word detective” skills. A combination of the
BWI program and a literature-based reading and writing program can be very
Gentry, J. (1981).
Learning to Spell Developmentally. The Reading Teacher,
Similar to oral language, spelling proceeds
from simple to more complex activities. A reshaping of cognitive structures
occurs at each level. Teachers have to be aware of the developmental nature
of spelling to be able to identify at which stage each of their students are
currently functioning, thus enabling them to make diagnostic judgment and
provide appropriate informal instruction and strategies.
Random ordering of
letters as well as lack of letter/sound correspondence characterizes the
Deviant Stage. The Phonetic Stage is characterized by students
beginning to link letters. Common spelling attempts are characterized by
one, two, or three letter “words” which lack vowels. In the Phonetic
Stage the child demonstrates an almost perfect match between letters and
sounds, and an opportunity to communicate in writing emerges. This stage is
typically found at some point in first grade. By the time a child reaches
the Transitional Stage words may continue to be misspelled, however
each syllable contains a vowel, common letter and vowel pattern. This stage
is typically found at the late first, early second grade levels. Once
students' spelling ability reaches the Correct Stage formal spelling
instruction may begin. Regardless of the stage at which the young learner
is currently functioning, it is important that they be immerged in a
language environment where language experiences, creative and independent
writing are promoted and encouraged.
Goodman, K. S.
(1992) I didn't found whole language. The Reading Teacher,
Goodman authored this article
to put both “his work and whole language into a historical, political, and
philosophical context” as well as to “make predictions about the future of
whole language and about education in general”. Goodman's view of education
is that it starts with a learner's strength and builds outward from it. He
view learning as both personal and social, and believes that optimum
learning occurs when learners are engaged in functional, relevant, and
Whole language is an inclusive
philosophy of education. Whole language is producing holistic reading and
writing curriculum that uses real, authentic literature and real books. It
puts learners in control of what they read and write about. But it also
produced new roles for teachers and learners and a new view of how learning
and teaching are related. Whole language reemphasizes the need for
curriculum integrated around problem solving in science and social studies
where pupils generate their own questions and answer them collaboratively.
Whole language revalues the classroom as a democratic learning community
where teachers and pupils learn together and learn to live peacefully
concepts and movements include: Process Writing, “developmentally
appropriate experiences”, multigrade and family grouping, cooperative and
collaborative education, language across the curriculum, language-experience
reading, theme cycles and thematic units, literature-based reading
instruction and literature sets, questioning strategies for students and for
teachers, child-centered teaching, critical pedagogy, critical thinking,
nongraded schools, emergent literacy, authentic assessment and conflict
Educational ideas that Goodman refers to as
“one-legged models” are not compatible with whole language because they are
not only narrow, but also unscientific and misconceived. Examples include:
cooperative learning that does not involve authentic tasks, outcome based
education and phonics-only programs. Goodman is very optimistic about the
future of whole language despite the current “Bush Education 2000” agenda
that implies that public education, as we know it is a failed ideal.
Goswami, Usha. (1986). Children's Use of analogy in
Learning to Read: A Developmental Study. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 42(1) 73-83.
This study was conducted to
determine if children were able to make analogies between the spelling
patterns in words, which would have important consequences for theories of
reading development. Children ages 5 to 8 years from a public primary school
in Oxford, Great Britain comprised the population of the study;
kindergarten, first and second grade students were represented. Results
indicated that children can make analogies from clue words in reading, it is
easier to make analogies between the end of words than between the
beginnings of words, and these effects were independent of reading level.
Analogy is a useful strategy especially during the initial stages of reading
Halliday, M.A.K. In Ruddell, R. B., Ruddell, M. R.,
Singer, H. (Eds.). (1994). Theoretical models and
processes of reading, 4th ed. (70-82). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Meaning is a social and cultural phenomenon
and all construction of meaning is a social process. Developmental states
of child language development: Phase I – Protolinguistic or “Protolanguage”,
Phase II – Transition, Phase III – Language. The Protolanguage stage (which
is associated with the crawling stage) includes noises and intonation,
physical movement, adult/infant interaction; this exchange of attention is
the beginning of language. During the Transition stage (which is associated
with the developmental stage of walking) there is a transition from child
tongue to mother tongue. During this stage the “pragmatic” mode develops; a
demand for good and services that seeks a response in the form of an
action. In Phase III the child moves from taking about shared experience to
sharing information with a third person. The child realizes that reality is
beyond their own experience; they invite confirmation, enjoy shared
From the ontogenesis on conversation we are able to
gain insight into human learning and human understanding. Meaning is
created at the intersection of two contradictions – the experiential one,
between the material and the conscious modes of experience, and the
interpersonal one, between the different personal histories of the
interactants taking part.
Written language, like oral
language, is learned naturally from ongoing natural encounters with print
prior to formal language instruction. Reading and writing are
sociopsycholinguistic processes, and as such, children develop models of
written language from those natural, encounters with print. Children in
literate societies are actively involved, at a very young age, in
understanding and controlling their world of print. Children's perception of
print are not only organized, but systematic and identifiable.
Negotiability is an important
strategy in written language growth and development. It represents the
child's discovery that what is known about one communication system can
support understanding of other communication systems. Oral and written
language grow and develop in parallel rather than serial fashion. A serious
consequence of any formal language instruction which fails to build upon
young student's natural language is that it forces them to abandon what they
knew about language to favor instead the phonetic strategy being emphasized
in their instructional program at school.
Formal language instruction
should begin by building upon the variety of rich language-acquisition
strategies that children have informally developed on their own. Four such
key strategies identified include those of semantic intent, negotiability,
hypothesis testing, and fine-tuning language through language. Writing
allows children to test their developing knowledge as readers; children
learn to read by writing.
Henriques, M. E.
(1997). Increasing Literacy among Kindergarteners through Cross-Age Training.
Young Children, 52(4),
Cross-age tutoring is a cost-effective way
to individualize teaching and reinforcement of skills, and requires no
additional staffing or additional expense for the school. There are several
components that are necessary when implementing a successful cross-age
- Tutors must be competent readers and demonstrate
positive social interactions.
- Tutors must be able to follow directions in an
unsupervised setting and familiarize themselves with materials to be used.
- Tutors must make a commitment and be responsible to
complete their tutoring sessions for the duration of the program.
- Extensive training for tutors is required to ensure
the program's success.
- Training in specific strategies, modeling and
opportunities to practice those skills prior to meeting with their tutee
Tutors were given a “story
box” prior to working with their tutee. The box contained activities,
several books and materials for a response activity. Tutors were
responsible to complete a running log, which included books read, activity
performed, the child's reaction to the story, and specific literacy skills
that were covered. Logs were review weekly and suggestions made for future
Hiebert, E. H., Pearson, P. D., Taylor, B. M.,
Richardson, V. & Paris, S. G. (1998). Every Child a READER –
Applying Reading Research in the Classroom. Center for the Improvement
of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA).
The information and practices
from Every Child a READER are all research –based best practices. Accomplishments are set forth
for grade level Preschool though Grade 3. Instructional applications are
suggested. Eight topic areas include: Oral Language, Early Concepts,
Phonics, Fluency, Strategies, Writing, Engagement, and School Programs.
Reading Association and National Association for the Education of Young Children (1998).
Learning to Read and Write – Developmentally Appropriate Practices
For Young Children.
position statement provides guidance to teachers of young children, as well
as early childhood programs, serving children from birth through age 8. The
principles and practices suggested will be of interest to any adult that may
be in a position to influence a young child's learning and development.
Teachers, administrators, and policy makers would also be appropriate
audiences for this position statement. Included are: (a) A statement of the
issues. (b) What research reveals: Rationale for the position statement.
(c) Continuum of children's development in reading and writing.
Phases of development for
preschool though grade three are included. The phases of development are
presented extremely effectively using a graph with the following
information: “Children can”, What teachers do, What family members can do.
Narratives follow for each grade level summarizing and briefly interpreting
what research reveals regarding that particular level.
(2001). Institute Puts Professional Artists In Little One's Classrooms. Education Week, 21(10), 6-7.
The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning
Through the Arts (based in Vienna, Virginia) places performing artists in
preschool classrooms as well as child-care centers for one and seven week
residences. Artists are artists chosen by the Institute that have had
experience in early childhood education, and are professionals in their
respective disciplines. Drama, music and movement are the focus of the
program. The artists adapt their work to the particular needs of the
population. The focus of the artists work complements a unit or theme a
teacher may be working on in the classroom in areas of literacy. Upon
completion of the project teachers are expected to carry on the work of the
artist. The hope is that teacher will develop creative ways to use the arts
when implementing their own curriculum as well.
Jalongo, M. R. &
Ribblett, D. M. (1997) Using song picture books to support emergent literacy.
Song picture books can
simultaneously facilitate music development and language growth. Emergent
literacy is promoted by providing repetition and predictability, taking
advantage of familiarity and enjoyment as well as encouraging critical
thinking and problem solving. Use of song picture books broadens children's
vocabulary and knowledge of story structures, while also providing
opportunities for creative expression and language play.
When children participate in
read aloud/sing aloud sessions with song picture books, they are involved in
authentic, holistic literacy experiences. Extension activities such as the
use of stick puppets, flannel board figures, and shadow boxes are all
vehicles that enable young children to retell a story or song using
manipulatives. The authors make a very effective comparison between
Cunningham and Allington's (1994) signs of emergent literacy and musical
development (e.g. pretending to read a favorite book is equated with
attempting to sing along).
Kelly, Kate and Zamar,
Anne; The Tashua-Princeton Study Group. (1994). KINDERGARTEN BASICS –
Build the Foundation for Your Child's Success in Kindergarten. New York,
NY: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers.
Based on the fundamentals of
national curricula in the areas of reading, writing and arithmetic skills
this text is designed to help parents support the educational process. Each chapter focuses on targeted skill areas such as
sequencing, classification, and letter sounds. Directions for activities
and skill-related games are easy to follow.
S. Editor; Palmer, Barbara Martin, Codling, Rose Marie; Gambrel, Linda B.
(1994). In their own words: What elementary students have to say about
motivation to read. The Reading Teacher, 48(2), 176-178.
Refer to Abstract - Koskinen, Patricia S.
Editor; Palmer, Barbara Martin, Codling, Rose Marie; Gambrel, Linda B.
Kostelny, S. J.
(1987). Development of beginning writing skills through a total school program.
The Reading Teacher, 41(2), 156-159.
As a newly assigned principal to an
elementary school that did not have a writing program in place, being a
strong advocate that writing skills should be an integral part of primary
level instruction Kostelny developed an extremely successful school-wide
writing program. Her plan included components of staff development,
progress monitoring, book making, and spotlighting of exemplary student
writing. Monthly inservices were presented by the author on different
aspects of the writing process. Inservices were enthusiastically received,
teachers were provided with packets of materials for the “topic of the
day”. By years end each teacher had a valuable portfolio of instructional
resources. Teachers were required to keep individual writing folders that
were periodically reviewed by the principal.
Students were encouraged to
participate in the district and state Young Authors program. A parent
network was formed to “publish” final drafts to submit for judging.
Anthologies of exemplary writing, group language experience stories as well
as individual efforts from Kindergarten students were included and published
Ladd, G. W. Having
Friends, Keeping Friends, Making Friends, and Being Liked by Peers in
the Classroom: Predictors of Children's Early School Adjustment?
Child Development, 61, 1081-1098.
Significant predictors of one or more forms
of school adjustment included extensivity and form of children's friendship
ties in the classroom, including the number of prior friends enrolled in the
same classroom, the extent to which these relationships were maintained and
the degree to which children formed new friendships. Successfully making
new friends in the classroom was associated with gains in school
performance, whereas early peer rejection forecasted less favorable school
perception, higher levels of school avoidance, and lower performance level.
“Rejected” children had significantly less
favorable school perceptions, significantly higher levels of school
avoidance, and significantly lower levels of school performance than did
popular, average, and neglected children. Rejected children appear to be at
risk for school adjustment problems. These results have important
implications for teachers of young children.
Lennon; Slesinski, James E. (1999). Early intervention
in reading: Results of a screening and intervention
program for kindergarten. School Psychology Review, 28(3), 353-365.
Refer to abstract - Lennon;
Slesinski, James E. (1999)
Maclean, M., Bryant, P. & Bradley, L. (1987). Rhymes,
nursery rhymes, and reading in early childhood. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly,
Session 1 – Knowledge of nursery rhymes task as
well Detection of Rhyme-1 task.
Session 2 – The following four measure were used
to measure phonological awareness: Alliteration production task, Rhyme
production task, Forced-choice rhyme task, Segmenting (words, syllables and
Session 3 – Detection of Rhyme-2 task. This was
the same task assessed in Session I (mean age 4 years, 0 months).
Session 4 – Reading words task and Recognizing
Session 5 – Rhymes detection 3 and alliteration
detection – 2 tasks (similar to Session 1 and Session II, utilizing
different stimulus words (mean age 4 years, 7 months).
Results of multiple regression using
different variables for each measure resulted in the following major
conclusion: preschool phonological skills predict the beginnings of
Martinez, Miriam. (1983). Exploring Young Children's
Comprehension Through Story Time Talk. Language Arts,
Over a four-month period of time, a parent
audiotaped story time interactions with his daughter three nights a week.
Three of the books that were read to the child during the week were
recommended by a children's literature specialist – one of these two books
was unfamiliar to the child, the third book was from the child's own
personal collection of books. Martinez was able to derive insights into the
foundations of story comprehension that story time interactions offer
through observations of this four-and-a-half year old girl sharing picture
books with her father.
Conclusions derived from data
indicated that very young children are able to construct a broad range of
inferential meanings: draw conclusions, make predictions, as well as make
inferences regarding the nature of characters and their motivations.
Responses were both literal and inferential in nature, and often
evaluative. Evaluations were both affective and cognitive. Identifying the
title and author of the story, offering general background information that
may help in understanding of a story are all invaluable facets of
parent/child story-time interactions. Explaining inferences and evaluations
the reader (parent) makes while reading serves as a model that influences
the child's approach, and illustrates potential insights into the
foundations of story comprehension.
Martinez, M. & Roser, N. (1985). Read it again: The
value of repeated readings during story time. The Reading
Teacher, 38(8) 782-786.
English Language Arts Curriculum Framework. (June 2001) Reading and Literature. General
Standard 7: Beginning Reading.
Learning Standards for Grades PreK – K
focus on phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness, knowledge of the
relationships between sounds and letters, and an understanding of the
features of written English texts are essential to beginning reading, and
should be taught, continually practiced, and carefully monitored in the
early grades. “Students who gain a strong grounding in these skills are
ready to take on the concurrent tasks of comprehension and communication”.
Masonheimer, P. E.,
Drum, P. A., & Ehri, L. C. (1984). Does Environmental Print Identification Lead Children Into Word
Reading? Journal of Reading Behavior, 16(4), 257-271.
Researchers disagree about whether reading
skill evolves naturally and spontaneously or whether mastery of specific
prerequisites such as letter and knowledge and phonemic segmentation skill
are necessary. Two experiments (undertaken by the authors) were designed to
determine if children move closer to acquiring reading skill after they have
accumulated substantial experience with environmental print. The study
examined the print reading skill of preschoolers who were selected for their
expertise at reading signs and labels in their environment and to determine
whether these “experts”: would notice letter alterations in familiar signs
and labels. Results indicated that more extensive experience or skill
reading environmental print does not lead to “press” on the subject to look
beyond the cues which are easiest to discern and most obvious (e.g. golden
arches) and to begin attending to alphabetic cues. When identifying
environmental print, readers focus on letters while prereaders ignore the
letters and “read' the environment.
McGee, L. M. and
Purcell-Gates, V. (1997). “So what's going on in research on emergent
literacy?” Reading Research Quarterly, 32(3), 310-318.
article is presented in the form of ongoing e-mail messages between McGee
and Purcell-Gates, two very prominent researchers in the area of emergent
literacy. McGee begins the article by sharing her definition of emergent
literacy research: “research in which the investigators explicitly
acknowledge children's literacy learning as a continuum that begins before
schooling, includes reading and writing that is non-conventional, but
nonetheless important for later conventional reading and writing, and
involves a complex of understanding about written language leading to
conventional reading and writing”. Purcell-Gates is in agreement with the
definition while stressing that emergent literacy needs to be considered
within two time period (0-5 and 5-independence), as the role of
sociocultural context that differentiates the two period is the
home/community (and perhaps pre-school, religious school, etc.) for the
first period, and formal school instructional context and the home/community
for the 5-independence period.
authors note that emergent literacy research of this decade has shifted from
a cognitive one to a sociocultural one. Numerous research is cited, all
with a common thread: researchers are examining children in context,
looking for an understanding of the interplay among many different kinds of
Mandel; Burks., Susan P.; Rand., Muriel K.; (1992). Resources in Early Literacy Development. An annotated
bibliography. International Reading Association: Newark, Delaware.
This annotated bibliography
provides references for topics in early literacy. Books,
book chapters, pamphlets, journals, journal articles, as well as other
materials that will help to enhance teachers' knowledge base about current
theory and strategies in early literacy development are provided. Current
thinking about early literacy development for each topic is also highlighted.
Morrow, L. M., &
Rand, M. K. (1991). Promoting literacy during play by designing early childhood classroom environments. The
Reading Teacher, 44(6), 396-402.
Classrooms should be arranged to encourage
play, which in turn, may increase and promote literacy activity among
children during preschool and Kindergarten years. The design of classroom
environments can positively influence literacy development. Suggestions for
classroom application: themes chosen for dramatic play areas should, when
possible, compliment thematic units currently in the classroom.
for Music Educators (MENC). (1991). Position Statement on Early Childhood Education.
a natural and important part of young children's growth and development. A
music curriculum for young children should include many opportunities to
explore sound through singing, listening, and playing instruments, as well
as introductory experiences with verbalization and visualization idea. The
music literature included in the curriculum should be of high quality and
lasting value, including children's songs, folk songs, classical music, and
music from a variety of cultures. The MENC beliefs about young children and
developmentally and individually appropriate musical education include: (a)
all children have musical potential, (b) children bring their own unique
interest and abilities to the music learning environment, (c) children
should be provided with a rich environment offering possible routes for them
to explore as they grow in awareness and curiosity about music.
believes that very young children are capable of developing critical
thinking skills through musical ideas and should have opportunities for
individual musical play, such as an instrument corner,” as well as for group
musical play, singing games. Children learn best in pleasant physical and
social environments. Music learning contexts will be most effective if they
include (1) play, (2) games, (3) conversations, (4) pictorial imagination,
(5) stories, (6) shared reflective events and family activities, and (7)
personal and group involvement in social task. An essential component is
that diverse learning environments are needed to serve the developmental
needs of many individual children to interact with musical materials in
their own way based on their unique experiences and developmental stages.
Council (1999). Starting out Right- A Guide to Promoting Children's Reading Success.
National Academy Press.
“Share books with children “during
babyhood”, even when they are as young as 6 weeks old!” The value of
exposing children to high-quality language and literacy environments, from
their youngest years is a prerequisite to a life-long journey towards
literacy. Exposure to a literacy rich environment while attending day care
centers, preschools, and upon entrance to formal schooling in Kindergarten
is essential. This text offers wonderful, easy to implement activities that
can easily be woven into daily exchanges between young children and their
parents/caretakers, and eventually their teachers. Numerous nurturing
scenarios are mentioned where opportunities to foster language and literacy
acquisition can occur “naturally” on a daily basis.
Opitz, Michael F.
(1998). Children's books to develop phonemic awareness for you too! The
Reading Teacher, 51(6), 526-528.
One of the best ways to help children
develop phonemic awareness naturally is through the use of children's
literature that focuses on some kind of play with the sounds of language
such as rhyme, alliteration, and sound substitution. A letter to parents
with an accompanying parent phonemic awareness observation record/book list,
list of books that are appropriate for use with kindergarten and first-grade
children, as well as specific activities parents can do at home to work with
their children the components of this article. All four components are well
written, self-explanatory and an excellent resource to have on hand or send
home at the beginning or end of a school year.
Pappas, Christine C.
(1993) Is Narrative “Primary? Some Insights From Kindergarteners' Pretend Readings of
Stories and Information Books. Journal of Reading Behavior,
It is a common assumption in literacy development that narrative or story is
somehow primary – that children's abilities to understand and compose
stories precede their capabilities to understand and use non-story,
informational written language. Pappas conducted a study of
Kindergarteners' repeated pretend reading of two stories and two information
books to gain insight into their strategies in dealing with the distinctive
textual properties of the two genres. The analyses indicated that
children were just as successful in reenacting the information books, as
they were the stories.
Emergent readers and writers have the capabilities to learn to read and
write non-story, informational genres. Students involved in the study
demonstrated success reenacting the information books, and in fact preferred
them. Many Kindergarten curriculums are moving toward more literature-based
literacy programs. However, oftentimes the range of literature that is
provided is narrow, made up of mostly fictional texts. Emergent
readers and writers have the capabilities to learn to read and write
non-story, informational genres
Pearson, D. P., &
Fielding, L. (1982). Research Update – Listening Comprehension. Language Arts, 59(6), 617-629.
The following two questions about listening comprehension comprised both the intent and the extent of this
review of literature in the area of listening comprehension.
What is involved in listening comprehension? At the phonological
level a listener has to be able to distinguish between phonemes, be
sensitive to intonation and variation in stress (loudness) patterns as well
as being sensitive to subtle cues that allow them to determine where one
word stops and another begins. At the syntactic level, listeners
must be able to recognize paraphrase; disambiguate-recognize the different
interpretations of sentences; and recognize cues regarding form class, as
well as sentence position cues like subject verb, and object slots. At the semantic level, listeners
need to know what words mean, how they relate to one
another. At the text structure level, listeners have to know how
things like stories are typically organized in their culture.
Listeners have experienced listening
comprehension when they can orchestrate all these kinds of knowledge and
apply them to achieve a satisfactory interpretation of a text.
Can listening comprehension be taught?
Elementary school children can improve in
listening comprehension through training. Exactly what methods are the most
effective and what enhances listening comprehension has been the focus of
(1980). The Relationship Between Kindergarteners' Play and Achievement in Prereading, Language, and
Writing. Psychology in the Schools, 17(4), 530-535.
Refer to Abstract -
Pellegrini, A.D. (1980).
Pikulsky, J. (1997).
President's message – Reading and Writing in Kindergarten: Developmentally appropriate?
Today, August/September p. 22.
“Push-down” curriculum: efforts to push
into Kindergarten instructional practices as well as materials that are
designed for use in 1st. grade. “Push –up” curriculum occurs
when the term “developmentally appropriate practices” is misinterpreted to
mean a nonacademic environment.
Development of emergent and beginning
reading and writing skills as well as the emotional and social development
of each child needs to be the focus of Kindergarten. Literacy activities
such as independent reading, independent writing, teacher read alouds,
shared reading, shared writing and language activities must be included on a
daily basis. The key is being creative and integrating the curriculum.
Rankin, J., & Yokoe, L. (1996). A Survey of Instructional Practices of Primary
Teachers Nominated as Effective in Promoting Literacy. The Elementary
School Journal, 96(4) 363-384.
abstract - Pressley, M., Rankin, J., & Yokoe, L. (1996)
Put Reading First –
The Research building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read (Kindergarten
through Grade 3).
(2001). Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA).
Jessup, MD: National Institute for Literacy at ED Publishers.
This guide, designed by teachers for
teachers, summarizes what researchers have
discovered about how to successfully teach children to read. It describes
the findings of the National Reading Panel Report and provides analysis and
discussion in five areas of reading instruction: phonemic awareness,
phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Each section defines
the skill, reviews the evidence from research, suggests implications for
classroom instruction, describes proven strategies for teaching reading
skills, and addresses frequently raised questions.
Reutzel, D. R., &
Fawson, P. C. (1990) Traveling tales: Connecting parents and children through writing.
The Reading Teacher,
School-based reading and
writing programs are far more effective when parents are involved. How to
involve parents in helping their children become better readers has been
successfully addressed in many ways. The authors have developed and
successfully implemented a very effective and successful approach for
involving parents with their children's writing development. “Traveling
Tales backpack” creates a bridge between home and school, bringing children
and parents together in a shared writing event at home that will be
eventually shared in the classroom. A process writing approach is the main
focus for the Traveling Tales backpack. A very specific, yet easy to follow
guideline sheet (included in the article), is sent home to assist the
parents in working with their child. The backpack contains a wide
assortment of writing materials from which to choose. The child chooses a
topic for writing and is given the opportunity to create his or her story in
any form, suggestions include: poetry, puppet plays, and foldout books. The
students keep the Traveling Tales backpack for two nights and then share
his/her writing with the class. The parent is also invited to share their
experience with the class.
Rhodes, L. K.,
(1981). I can read! Predictable books as resources for reading and writing instruction.
The Reading Teacher,
Predictable books motivate children
to learn quickly as they are able to predict what the author is going to say
and how he is going to say it. Children quickly pick up on rhyme, and the
rhythm of the language. Multiple readings encourage discovery and
recognition of repetitive patterns, cumulative patterns, familiarity of the
story or story line, and familiar sequences, all of which appeal to emergent
readers. Developmentally appropriate texts contain vocabulary and content
that reflects what children know about their world and their language. A
bibliography of predictable books is provided at the end of the article.
Richgels, D. J.
(1986). An Investigation of Preschool and Kindergarten Children's Spelling and Reading Abilities.
of Research and Development in Education, 19(4), 41-47.
The purpose of the study was to determine
whether some alphabet knowledge is related to invented spelling ability and
whether an extreme degree of “meta-phonological awareness” is a prerequisite
to invented spelling. Subjects were randomly chosen; 8 children from a
kindergarten class, 11 children from a pre-school for 4 year olds. Results
of the study in dictated that alphabet knowledge was found to be related to
“invented spelling” ability; metalinguistic awareness of letter-sound
correspondence was not.
Measures like those used in this study
can be used as informal alternatives to standardized paper-and-pencil
reading readiness tests and yield valuable diagnostic information to aid
teachers in planning literacy instruction. This summary will focus on the
assessments themselves as they can easily be administered by teachers in
their own classrooms. Five “letter tests”, which measure alphabet knowledge
that may be related to spelling and reading, and a measure of “actual”
spelling and reading, were administered to each child. The five “letter
tests” included: Alphabet recitation, Alphabet flashcards, Finger-point
alphabet reading, six-letter completions, “How alike?” test and a Spelling
and reading test. Alphabet recitation simply involved recitation of the
alphabet, the alphabet flashcards required the child to identify upper and
lower case letters. Finger-point alphabet reading required the child to
point to the designated letter on an alphabet strip; two points were given
for immediate recognition, one point if the child recited the alphabet to
identify the correct letter. Six-letter completions – after three
consecutive letters were given orally the child was required complete the
sequence orally reciting the following three consecutive letters. How alike?
test – designed to probe the child's' awareness of letter/sound association.
Five pairs of letters (FS, TD, GJ, HA, and CS) upper case letters were
presented – children were expected to mention the sound likeness. Spelling
and reading test – students responded to a list of words chosen by the
researcher for their varying demands on a novice spellers ability to segment
and represent sounds. Points were allotted for approximations (invented
Richgels, D. J.,
(1987) Experimental Reading with Invented Spelling (ERIS): A preschool and kindergarten method.
Reading Teacher, 40(6), 522-531.
has three components which are not intended as sequential steps as children
may be involved with all three at one time. Teaching sound/letter
correspondence using purpose talk where the teacher explicitly notes
the role of letter and sound knowledge is the first component. The second
component is providing myriad opportunities for experimental writing.
Activities centers with themes that provide for contextualized writing
opportunities (receipts at a restaurant play center, labeling pictures and
drawings). In this component the teacher has two roles: that of “teacher as
a planner of the environment”, and that of “play partner”. As a “play
partner” a teacher gently takes advantage of opportunities to “turn
hypothetical writing talk into real writing talk”. The third component is
providing myriad opportunities for experimental reading. Richgels suggests
four ways experimental reading can be included in the classroom: reading
language experience stories, reading students' writing, reading the
teacher's own highlighted stories, reading the teacher's own invented
Ruddell, Robert B. and Ruddell, Martha Rapp. In
Ruddell, R. B., Ruddell, M. R. Singer, H. (Eds.). (1994).
Theoretical models and processes of reading, 4th ed. (83 - 103).
Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Ruddell and Ruddell examined language
development in the preschool and early school years to explore its
relationship to literacy processes. Halliday's seven modes (functions) of
language are: instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal,
imaginative, heuristic and informative. Within the school setting, at least
three registers are necessary: informal personal exchange, formal
information exchange and literacy exchange. Beginning Writing stages:
drawing, printing, creating text. A large body of evidence indicates that
starting with pictorial representation and scribbling, children attempt to
connect speech with written language and understand the relationship of
graphic symbols to sounds. Beyond beginning writing stages; embedded
sentences; combining sentences. Reading stages: word analysis:
lographic (visual); transitional (alphabetic principle); alphabetic
(letter-sound); orthographic (alphabetical, letter patterns, shared letter
sequences, pronunciations, analogy). Comprehension stages:
Foundation - oral language development, early reading/writing experiences,
environmental print, social interactions. Process – organizing, building,
reorganizing information by forming schemata; incorporating new information;
influenced by social interaction and events. Factors related to Language
Growth- Home Environment: parent interaction, books, being read to, and
modeling. Home Language and Literacy Routines that closely parallel those
of classroom and school provide for greater success.
Scott, J. A., &
Ehri, L. C. (1990). Sight Word Reading In Prereaders: Use of Logographic VS. Alphabetic Access Routes.
Journal of Reading Behavior, 22(2) 149-165.
Preschool and kindergartners who knew
letters and could read a few if any words out of context cues were chosen
for this study. They were taught to read either six simplified phonetic
spellings whose letters corresponded to sound (e.g. JRF for “giraffe;), or
six logographic spellings whose letters were non-phonetic but were more
visually distinctive. Word reading practice included either naming or
counting letters in phonetic spellings or counting letters in visual
spellings. Letter naming was expected to draw pre- readers attention to
phonetic cues. Letter counting was used as the control.
that letter-sound routes have a significant advantage over visual routes in
reading words by sight. Alphabetic access routes systematically target
specific words and bypass other similar words in memory much more
effectively than visual routes. Words are read with a higher degree of
accuracy and consistency.
important that students know most letter shapes and names or sounds before
they can be expected to read words out of context by sight. Teaching
beginning readers to read phonetically regular spellings makes word reading
easier and enables them to use what they know about letter and sounds to
being making sense of the spelling system.
Smith, F., (1999).
Why Systematic Phonics and Phonemic Awareness Instruction Constitute an Educational Hazard.
Language Arts, 77(2), 150-155.)
makes his viewpoint very clear and unwaveringly shares his insights
regarding systematic phonics and phonemic awareness instruction. Throughout
the article he stresses that reading is not decoding to sound, reading is
attempting to make sense of written language and that must be accomplished
directly. Lawmakers who claim to be professionals are mandating commercial,
systematic programming. Smith's comment “You can no more separate the
sounds from a word that has been uttered than you can extract the
ingredients from a cake that has been baked” clearly reflects his viewpoint
regarding phonemic awareness instruction. Smith feels that a child will
learn to read when conditions are right, through authentic experiences and
with teachers who take an active role in helping them to read. Students
have unique learning styles, personalities, interests, and levels of
literacy. Take a child from where they are and work with them using methods
and materials that fit their needs.
Smith, J. A., (2000). Singing and songwriting support
early literacy. The Reading Teacher, 53(8),
Early literacy instruction can
be supported through singing and songwriting activities in various areas of
emergent literacy: letter names and sounds, phonemic awareness, print
conventions, background knowledge, vocabulary, decoding and writing.
Providing an ABC song chart as a visual model while singing can reinforce
letter names and sounds, which “helps them learn that “lmnop” is not a
single letter”. Writing lyrics for songs on chart paper for students to
follow along in music class can be reinforced by providing students with
individual song booklets to take home. Pairing written language with music
and utilizing the language experience approach students' dictated words can
be written on chart paper while commenting on directionality, letters and
words, sentences, and punctuation. Additional examples of singing and
songwriting activities that support early literacy instruction are presented
in the article.
Teale, W. H.,
(1978). Positive Environments for Learning to Read: What Studies of Early Readers Tell Us.
Teale presents a review of studies of
“early readers” with an emphasis on identifying and discussing factors that
are repeatedly associated with a positive environment for learning to read.
He then draws implications for “creating” positive environments for learning
to read. Only studies that dealt with environmental factors associated with
early readers were considered.
- Availability and range of printed materials in
the environment: accessibility of printed materials on a wide range of
subjects. The range of printed materials ranged from storybooks, alphabet
books, an array of environmental print, labels of cans, street
directories, maps, etc.
- Reading is “done” in the environment:
acquaints children with the functions of print, reads/responds to print,
sensitizes children to the structure and nature of written language as
well as the language of books.
- The environment facilitates contact with paper
and pencil: scribbling, drawing, and copying object and letters.
Teale found that writing was not mentioned in a majority of studies and
when presented there was a general lack of agreement regarding the
appropriateness of writing before learning to read.
- Those in the environment should respond to what
the child is trying to do: frequent quality interaction with family
members, teachers, and siblings in regard to reading activities.
Implications for creating positive environments for learning to read:
provide activities that are stimulating and an absorbing facet of the
everyday environment. Adults have a responsibility to encourage a child's
desire to progress in discovering the why and how of reading.
United States Department of Education. A Practical
Guide to Reading Assessments. (1987).
Easy-to-use, practical guide
for selection and use of reading assessment tools. Various assessments (not
an exhaustive list) that measure early reading, spelling and vocabulary.
Each assessment is described in one page, information that includes grade
level, purpose, and key elements etc. of the assessment are included.
Additional information includes why and for whom the assessment is
appropriate, length of administration time, as well as interpretation of
assessment results and how to link the assessment to instruction.
Wood, M., & Salvetti,
E. P. (2001). Project Story Boost: Read-alouds for Students at Risk. The Reading Teacher, 55(1),
Many children come to school with little or
no exposure to the world of books. The format the Project Story Boost (PSB)
utilizes is focus delivery that is only provided at school. This program is
a wonderful example of how the community can get involved in fostering
literacy acquisition for Kindergarten children.
Whitehurst, G. J., &
Lonigan C. J. (1998). Child Development and Emergent Literacy. Child Development,
Emergent literacy skills, a review of
emergent literacy environments and the development of emergent literacy
skills are the focus of this article. Emergent literacy skills will be
summarized here. Whitehurst and Lonigan theorized that emergent literacy
consists of at least two distinct domains. The first domain is inside-out
emergent literacy skills (e.g. phonological awareness, letter knowledge,
emergent writing). These skills are critical to reading acquisition. A
reader must decode units of print into units of sound, and units of sound
into units of language. Word decoding, spelling and comprehension are all
components of this process. The second domain is outside–in emergent
literacy skills (e.g. receptive and expressive language, conceptual
knowledge). A reader must understand those auditory derivations, which
involves placing them in the correct conceptual and contextual framework.
Outside-in and inside-out processes are both essential to reading and work
simultaneously in readers who are reading well.
Wurtzel, Judy Oliva,
Executive Director, Learning First Alliance. Jennifer, Branch,
Erin; Interns, Learning First Alliance. What's Needed for Effective Elementary Reading Instruction? (2002)
Views From the Learning First Alliance. High/Scope ReSource. Spring 2002,
Learning First Alliance is a permanent partnership of 12 leading education
associations that came together several years ago to deliver a common
message on improving student achievement. Every Child Reading: An Action
Plan if the result of discussions with reading experts across the
country and is asked on current research on proven and effective ways of
teaching young children how to read. The 1998 report outlines the basic
skills children must acquire in the early grades to become proficient
readers and offers concrete, practical, research-based suggestions for
achieving these goals.
Recognizing that quality prekindergarten
and kindergarten programs and literacy-rich home environments provide the
foundation for reading success, the action plan highlights the knowledge and
skills children should develop before first grade. These include oral
language skills, background knowledge of the world that enables children to
make sense of what they read, appreciation of stories and books,
understanding of print concepts, phonemic awareness, and knowledge of the
alphabet and letter sounds.
In an effort to turn
research into practice the Learning First Alliance's action plan lay out 10
key strategies for making this shift. The importance of providing adequate
professional development is one of the key strategies mentioned. Teachers
are being asked to instruct all students in early reading without being
given access to the latest methods, program resources, or contextual support
necessary to achieve this goal. Every Child Reading gives concrete
strategies for how to teach reading. The Professional Development Guide
breaks down reading skills into nine components. The first three: phonemic
awareness, phonics and decoding as well as fluent, automatic reading of text
would be of special interest for teachers of emergent readers.
Yaden, D. (1988).
Understanding stories through repeated read-alouds: How many does it take?
The Reading Teacher,
The purpose of the study was to document over
several readings of the same story the types of spontaneous questions a
child asked while being read to, as well as to examine the effects of
repeated read-aloud sessions on the emergence of higher levels of
questions. Findings indicated there was a steady grown from questions
regarding illustrations toward more interest and understanding of the
language and story itself. Better understanding of the story developed only
after several rereadings. Implications for parents and teachers: it is
unreasonable to expect full comprehension of an oral text read only once,
which unfortunately is a rather common practice in some schools even today.
Yopp, H. K.
(1995). A test for assessing phonemic awareness in young children. The Reading Teacher,
Yopp, H. K.
(1992). Developing phonemic awareness in young children. The
Reading Teacher, 45(9), 696-702.
English is an alphabetic orthography that
encodes speech at the level of the phoneme. A reader's task then is to
understand the relationship of the letters in the writing system to the
phonemes in the language. This requires that the reader recognize that
speech can be segmented into smaller units – phonemic awareness. The
abstract nature of phonemes can be found in that they are not marked by
physically definable boundaries, and they are highly influenced by
phonological context. In order for students to benefit from formal reading
instruction they must have a certain level of phonemic awareness; and
reading instruction heightens awareness of language. Phonological awareness
is both a prerequisite for as well as a consequence of learning to read.
Yopp offers specific examples of phonemic awareness activities. (These
activities are widely used in many classrooms, included and reviewed in
numerous studies and the topic of articles in professional journals).
Zecker, L. B.
(1999). Different Texts, Different Emergent Writing Forms.
authors examine young children's ability to vary the forms or systems of
emergent writing as they write about different kinds of texts. Young
writers' literacy behaviors indicate that they often possess knowledge about
a variety of text types from early on, not just stories which has always
been a common belief among educators. It is important to build an awareness
of the relationship between print and speech, talking and writing, letters
and speech sounds. Young authors' written products need to be viewed from
more than one aspect. Conventional understanding and interpretation of
visual/perceptual and symbolic characteristics of written language is but
one facet to consider.
The author points out that it is the
children's reading of their own texts that is important and very often
overlooked. As a means to explore the students' current emergent knowledge
of written language “young author's reading of their own compositions are
better window to their emergent understandings of the functional aspects of
written language than are their written products considered in isolation”.