Understanding Emergent Literacy
Being able to communicate and to take in communication is a crucial developmental skill that is necessary in all aspects of one’s academic and social life. Children start to learn language from the day they are born. As they grow and develop, their speech and language skills become increasingly more complex. They learn to understand and use language to express their ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and to communicate with others. During early speech and language development, children learn skills that are important to the development of literacy (reading and writing). This stage, known as emergent literacy, begins at birth and continues through the preschool years. These emergent literacy skills are everything children know about speaking, listening, reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Early literacy skills are essential building blocks for later reading and writing. In addition, there is more and more evidence suggesting that having a good command of language goes hand-in-hand with the ability to imagine and think up new ideas. If the executive function skills are the air traffic control, then emergent literacy skills are the airplanes as they are enabling the child to get to their destination of understanding and using communication.
Dr. Robbin Gibb and Dr. Claudia Gonzalez