5. What are the emergent literacy skills?

     B. R. Schirmer (Personal Communication, July 6, 1998)

      Paul, Peter V. Literacy and Deafness, The Development of Reading, Writing, and Literate Thought. Allyn and Bacon, Needham Heights, MA. 1998.

      Essentially there is no magical list of skills that need to be acquired prior to the child learning to read. I have mentioned in another section, that children are learning to read the day they are born because we live in a print rich environment.

      For those of you who simply must have a list, I have provided the following:

Preliteracy Experiences

     I asked Barbara Schirmer if she would accept this list. At the time, she said that she would neither add to it nor delete anything from it.

      B. Schirmer suggested that a child should know his alphabet prior to entering kindergarten. However, it is not detrimental if the child does not have this knowledge. Parents should follow their child’s lead. Watch for clues that the child is not enjoying what you are doing. Learning should be fun and should never be forced.

      I have mentioned that I thought I would discover a "magical list" of skills that every child must aquire prior to learning to read. Instead, I have learned that emergent literacy is an on going process. The child is not taught a list of specific skills, they learn from examples.

      Another excellent list of "skills" can be found at: Jindrich, Susan. No title. [Online]. Available. meddybemps.com/7.24.html [1998].

     [No Author] Tips For Parents [Online]. Available. www.cec.sped.org/ericec.htm [1996].

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