Schools should encourage ‘Emergent Reading’ from the earliest years of life in both homes and schools

Scientific Evidence Platform Under review Schools should encourage ‘Emergent Reading’ from the earliest years of life in both homes and schools
It is common to hear teachers and parents complain about a curriculum of early childhood education (0-5 years) that promotes the teaching of reading. Specifically, the formal teaching of decoding at an early age. It is true that perhaps parents and teachers need support to generate contingent dynamics that do not generate stress in a process that should be fun and exciting. But the evidence shows an undeniable benefit in early learning of reading.
Sometimes, both family members and teachers deny the need to generate spaces for literature at an early age due to the lack of maturity of the infants. However, in the 80s the model of “Reading Maturation” was replaced by a more accurate one called “Emergent Literacy” that is based on the progressive development from birth of different reading skills that lead to writing and reading. There are many ways for young children, including infants and toddlers, to engage with books:
  1. Turn the pages
  2. Point to images and describe pictures.
  3. Listen to an adult’s reading.
  4. Ask and answer about what you read.
  5. Learn the letters
  6. Learn to blend the letters.
  7. Learn to write the letters.
  8. Write and read simple words.
Schools often struggle to individualize student learning, in this case volunters work at schools is a valuable treasure,  but homes are ideal places to promote reading and early learning from the printed world . Specifically, students at risk of dyslexia benefit greatly from literacy households, exactly when these households teach the correspondences between grapheme and phoneme and when they teach decoding. On the other hand, reading comprehension is greatly benefited when dialogic or shared reading is practiced by parents, since it expands the vocabulary of children. Finally, add that a literacy environment at home at an early age generates motivation for reading in later years.
  1. Senechal, M., & Lefevre, J. (2002). Parental involvement in the development of children’s reading skill: A five-year longitudinal study. Child Development, 73(2), 445460. doi:10.1111/1467-8624.00417
  2. Daniel J. Weigel, Sally S. Martin & Kymberley K. Bennett (2006) Contributions of the home literacy environment to preschool‐aged children’s emerging literacy and language skills, Early Child Development and Care, 176:3-4, 357-378, DOI: 10.1080/03004430500063747
  3. Lorna G. Hamilton, Marianna E. Hayiou-Thomas, Charles Hulme & Margaret J. Snowling (2016) The Home Literacy Environment as a Predictor of the Early Literacy Development of Children at Family-Risk of Dyslexia, Scientific Studies of Reading, 20:5, 401-419, DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2016.1213266
  4. Marina L. Puglisi, Charles Hulme, Lorna G. Hamilton & Margaret J. Snowling (2017) The Home Literacy Environment Is a Correlate, but Perhaps Not a Cause, of Variations in Children’s Language and Literacy Development, Scientific Studies of Reading, 21:6, 498-514, DOI: 10.1080/10888438.2017.1346660
  5. Sara McDaniel, Coddy Carter, Ragan McLeod & Cecil Robinson (2015) Effects of a summer emergent literacy intervention for rising kindergarteners, Journal of Children and Poverty, 21:2, 75-87, DOI: 10.1080/10796126.2015.1074167
  6. Cheryl L. Porter DeCusati & James E. Johnson (2004) Parents as Classroom Volunteers and Kindergarten Students’ Emergent Reading Skills, The Journal of Educational Research, 97:5, 235-247, DOI: 10.3200/JOER.97.5.235-247
  7. Anna H. Hall, Amber Simpson, Ying Guo & Shanshan Wang (2015) Examining the Effects of Preschool Writing Instruction on Emergent Literacy Skills: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Literacy Research and Instruction, 54:2, 115-134, DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2014.991883
  8. Minna Torppa, Kati Vasalampi, Kenneth Eklund, Pekka Niemi, Long-term effects of the home literacy environment on reading development: Familial risk for dyslexia as a moderator,Journal of Experimental Child Psychology,Volume 215,2022,105314,ISSN 0022-0965,
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