Phases of Emergent Literacy

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Activities to Promote Emergent Literacy

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Emergent Literacy
  • 0:44 Phases of Language
  • 1:46 Phases of Reading
  • 2:58 Phases of Drawing & Writing
  • 4:10 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Teachers who work with young children can be more effective if they understand how emergent literacy works. This lesson will acquaint you with the phases of emergent literacy.

Emergent Literacy

Few of Kristin's four-year-old students can read or write in the conventional sense, but Kristin knows that all of the students in her class are moving along a continuum toward reading and writing. This is because her students are in a stage of literacy development called emergent literacy. Emergent literacy refers to the period of time from infancy through early childhood when children are becoming increasingly well acquainted with language and the conventions of print. As a preschool teacher, Kristin understands that it is her job to observe and help her students as they move along the phases of emergent literacy. She focuses on their development in expressive and receptive language, reading, drawing, and writing.

Phases of Language

As they play over the course of the school year, as they ask questions and explore the world around them, Kristin knows that her students are moving through phases of expressive and receptive language. Expressive language refers to how students communicate with others, and receptive language has to do with how they understand communication. Both of these components are essential for a successful future as literate individuals.

In terms of expressive language, Kristin knows that even her least advanced students will be naming objects and describing the world around them. Later, they'll become able to ask questions and, little by little, tell short stories. Finally, they will be able to tell complex narratives and talk about abstract feelings and ideas.

In receptive language, students will begin by exhibiting an ability to follow simple and then more complicated directions. Then they'll start understanding stories. This is one of the reasons Kristin reads aloud so often. Little by little, Kristin's students will gain the ability to understand one another and have more complex communications.

Phases of Reading

Kristin knows that even though her students cannot sit and read books mostly independently, they are moving through phases of emergent literacy in their reading as well as their receptive and expressive language. As Kristin observes her students as readers, she sees them moving along the following continuum:

Showing an interest in books

Young children think books are interesting and exciting. They like to carry them around, point at them, and sometimes even mouth them.

Learning some of the conventions of print

As students become better acquainted with books, they will start to understand how to flip pages, go from left to right, and name and describe pictures.

Attending to increasingly complex read-alouds

Reading aloud to students, Kristin understands, is important no matter what stage they are in. However, students, as they grow, will be better able to understand stories, follow along for extended periods of time, ask questions, and even have discussions about characters.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support