Emerging Literacy

Many studies have looked at ways to support children’s “emerging literacy”—the early skills that grow into the ability to read well, speak clearly, follow directions, engage in conversations, listen attentively and excel at school and beyond.

The results consistently show that, like verbal skills, literacy skills begin early and at home.

Early literacy is not about babies learning to read with flashcards. It is about creating a home environment in which books are familiar friends and reading together is a favorite activity.

When a toddler develops with books in her life, she learns important literacy concepts including:

  • Pictures and print are different.
  • Print contains a message.
  • Every word has a meaning, and there are always new words to learn.
  • Pages are turned to continue a story.
  • Stories have beginnings and endings.
  • Both listening quietly and asking questions make the story more interesting.
  • There are objects, places, events and situations that your child may not have seen in her own life.
  • Books are special.

Understanding just this much about books and reading prepares children to continue developing in ways that lead to success in reading, writing, thinking and imagining.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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