2. What is "emergent literacy"?


     (No author) What is reading readiness? [Online]. Available. www.sil.org/lingualinks/library/litercay [1997, November 25]

     Soderbergh, Ragnhild. (1985) Early Reading with Deaf Children. Prospects: Quarterly Review of Education, v15, n1, p 77-85, 1985.

     Emergent literacy is the process which enables children to learn to read (Website, 1997, November 25). Emergent literacy is the beginning stage towards reading literal text in any medium (Soderbergh, 1985).

     Emergent literacy begins long before the child recognizes that there are words on a page. Typically, parents will begin reading to their child immediately though they may not realize this. When they feed their child, they may look at the side of the food jar and say, "Ohh, letís have green beans for lunch." The words, "green beans", are inevitably printed on the side of the jar. Signing songs and nursery rhymes are also natural occurrences in young childrenís lives. These simple items are, in fact, the beginnings of reading.

     When I first thought about emergent literacy, I think I was searching for a formula. I wanted someone to say, "Do these things, and your child will become an excellent reader." There is no doubt that parents should spend several hours with their child in order to improve upon reading. However, much learning takes place during our natural occurrences in life. Iím glad to know that parents are already getting their children ready to read through day to day activities. Hopefully, more parents will spend quality time with their children truly reading with them and sharing books.

      Durkin, Dolores. Teaching Young Children to Read (Third Edition). Allyn and Bacon, Inc., Boston, Mass., 1980

Please direct comments or questions to:
Kelly Luke
Parent/Infant Outreach Specialist
North Dakota School for the Deaf
9th Floor/DPI
600 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505