Literacy consists of a range of ways to understand and decode symbols for communication in a community (Barratt-Pugh & Rohl, 2000, p. 25). Emergent literacy is a term used to describe how young children interact with books, reading and writing (What is Emergent Literacy, 2006, p.1). Emerging literacy is an ongoing process and to ensure this process is successful children need to be stimulated through active engagement with books and writing opportunities.Children start to learn about and experience reading and writing in infancy, particularly when they start familiarising themselves with print media. From an early age children are able to read and recognise signs such as fast food logos, ect. (Alleyne, n.d. p.2) In addition, when young children are engaged in reading books and writing opportunities their ability to learn literacy is enhanced.Teale and sulzby (1989) pointed out that almost all children who come from literate families begin to develop skills in reading and writing from an early age through active engagement (Alleyne, n.d. p.2).
Reading Aloud to ChildrenChildren’s stories never get old, they can be re told over and over. The more a child hears a story the greater they come to understand its meaning and purpose. Reading books to children is a means of demonstrating how to read and gives students a model to follow when they read independently. (Barratt-Pugh & Rohl, 2000, p. 124-125).Parents play a large role in encouraging children to read and enabling them to become confident readers. Parents are aware of what motivates their child and can choose books that will stimulate their child’s interest. Research shows that by parents reading aloud to their children is essential in order for them to become successf…
…o actively engage student in reading and writing into a daily 2 hour block, these include: reading to children, shared reading, guided reading, modelled writing, shared writing and oral language. (Tackling Literacy, n.d).
In summary, children develop into proficient readers and writers from a large range of engagements and experiences with books and writing opportunities. Not only is it the responsibility of primary school teachers but literary development should also be considered by early child care workers and parents. Research has proven that children from low socio economic background have lower literary skills and knowledge. This is due to the lack of print material available to them (Crawford, 2003) This again proves the importance of engaging children with print media such as books and providing adequate opportunities to experiment with writing.