Emergent literacy skills are critical to “getting a child ready to read.” Emergent literacy includes:
- Letter Awareness: Child understands that there is a name and sound associated with each letter.
- Print Awareness: Child understands the use of the printed word as a means of communication.
- Phonological Awareness: Child understands that words are comprised of a series of sounds.
- Concept Awareness: Child understands that there are words for objects, shapes, colors, and numbers.
- Vocabulary Awareness: Child understands that there are meanings associated with words and that words can be used to describe their world.
- Narrative Awareness: Child understands that stories have a beginning, middle, and end as well as characters, setting, and plot.
Another key factor in the development of literacy is oral/aural interaction. The more speech a child hears and uses, the larger the vocabulary and the more complex the sentences a child will construct. By modeling new words and language in context and by building on the interest of the child, parents have the power to encourage children to experiment with language. Curated, digital content can also enhance the learning and enrichment a child receives.
When reading a story, ask questions about the setting, the plot, the characters, and make associations with what a child sees in a story and “real-life connections.” Stories also need not be from a book. Stories include “narratives” a parent might share that models new vocabulary and sequencing. Stories are everywhere; they are in signs, in magazines, even within menus.
Most importantly, let the interests of your child guide you.