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Early Emergent readers are beginning to learn sound/symbol relationships--starting with consonants

and short vowels--and are able to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, as well as a number of
high-frequency words. Books at this level have: Strong picture support.

Emergent literacy is a term that is used to explain a child's knowledge of reading and writing skills before
they learn how to read and write words. It signals a belief that, in literate society, young children—even
one- and two-year-olds—are in the process of becoming literate.

Learning to read is a developmental process that can be classified in 5 stages of reading

development beginning with Emergent Reading. Because cognitive development is dependent on
so many factors and each child is unique, it is important to understand that the timeframe for
entering the first stage, and advancement from one stage to the next, cannot be accurately

The information presented here serves as a guide to the development of reading skills over time.

Emergent Readers

Beginning Reader
Basic concepts of print
Picture analysis
Sound-letter recognition
Early Readers

Word recognition
Sight words
Print reading
Gradual speed in reading
Transitional Readers

Towards fluent reading

Reading of length texts
Little reliance on pictures
Self-extending Readers

Independent Reading
Reading various texts
Reading for information
Advanced Readers

Mastery in reading
Proficient comprehension
Reading for information
Reading for pleasure
Inferential reading
Interpretive reading
Internalized reading
Internalized reading strategies

Readers at this level are developing letter knowledge – recognizing upper and lower case letters and
their common sounds (consonant and short vowel). Before mastering this level, they will begin to
develop a bank of high frequency words, commonly referred to as sight words.

While apparent to most adults, a child must learn the one-to-one matching of individual spoken words
to printed words. For example, the spoken sounds of “wunsupunatim” represents the following words:
once upon a time. They are also grasping sentences and becoming aware of punctuation.

Early emergent readers are also learning and practicing reading strategies. They rely on pictures and
contextual clues to understand the text. They can retell a simple story and make a connection between
what they know and what they just read.

Ideal Reading Material for Early Emergent Readers:

When selecting books for an early emergent reader, look for the following characteristics:

 Each page displays the print in the same place

 Sentences are written in a pattern (1-2 sentences repeated)

 Illustrations provide support for the text

 Contains familiar objects (e.g. dog, letters of the alphabet ) and experiences (e.g. going to

 Contains and repeats high frequency words