Early Literacy and Emergent Readers

Early Literacy and Emergent Readers


Establishing strong reading comprehension, artistic expression and vocabulary is critical in ensuring students develop into lifelong learners and good readers. Students can go to school with the urge to learn literature and an eagerness to study due to these aptitudes. Many aspects of language development teaching have been influenced by research (Fox, 2014). In the instruction and acquisition of English language arts, research informs both policy and practice. The ultimate aim of research in English language arts is to provide teachers, instructional professionals, and institutions with the information they need to make informed choices about the teaching methods and experiences that will benefit students the most. This paper analyzes the major areas of instructional focus and how research has contributed to delivery and understanding of reading instruction over the past two decades.


Five Areas of Instructional Focus

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is a student’s capacity to govern and focus on phonemes (sounds) in words and syllables that are spoken (Duke, Ward & Pearson, 2021). This involves exposing kids to and letting them practice hearing and recognizing similar word structures (sound matching) as well as listening for and spotting spoken syllables (counting syllables).


The link between specific sounds made in speech and written letters is known as phonics.

Students acquire the ability to use these connections in their reading and spelling through phonics training. Writing symbols (the alphabet) and sounds are connected through phonics. Children can improve their word recognition abilities with the help of phonics (Dziedzic, 2022). The sound-symbol association can then be applied by kids to reading print.


Vocabulary is connected to grasping of content in class. A reader who has more words (oral or written) will find it easier to comprehend the content. Through listening to other student’s stories and read aloud, vocabulary can be picked up inadvertently, therefore it ought to be imparted both formally and informally (Duke, Ward & Pearson, 2021).


Fluent readers have the capacity to read aloud with the right amount of precision, rapidity, and expression. Fluency is the ability of reading and talking at similar rates and to understand the text without pausing to translate each word (Duke, Ward & Pearson, 2021).

Reading Comprehension

Understanding the material, they have read requires a sophisticated cognitive process know as comprehension. If teachers provide comprehensive instruction and support development of vocabulary students can gain understanding in what they are taught (Dziedzic, 2022). Through a number of strategies, such as question-answering and summarizing, young readers can increase their text comprehension.

The Five Essential Universal Components of Most Language Systems


Phonology is the study of phonemes and the laws that govern how they combine in a language. The tiniest unit of sound is called a phoneme, and examples include “p” and “t.” As a result of discrepancy in the word’s initial phoneme, the terms “pea” and “tea” have very distinct connotations (Duke, Ward & Pearson, 2021). The arrangement of phonemes is also administered by principles of phonology principles, like the idea of “ing” not ever occurring as the first English sound.


The study of the creation of words and organization is recognized as morphology. This is an area within language which is concerned with guidelines, like prefixes, roots, and affixes, that modify the meaning of words. Morpheme is the most basic level of meaning (Al-Wehaibi & Alajlan, 2022).


The construction of sentences using words and phrases is the subject of syntax study. It requires excellent word choice and sentence construction, in addition to comprehension. The structure of word in English is subject-verb-object. To give one example, “Mark likes the Dog.” This simple line, “The Dog loves Mark,” can have an entirely distinct significance if the words are arranged differently (Al-Wehaibi & Alajlan, 2022).


Studying the laws governing the content or meaning of words is known as semantics. To improve one’s semantic abilities, one must increase their vocabulary and study synonyms, antonyms, words with various meanings, and figurative language. Vocabulary can be understood more fully thanks to these semantic characteristics (Dziedzic, 2022). Knowing how words relate to one another is part of semantics.


The study of pragmatics focuses on our comprehension and application of language’s social functions. Social skills, including communication that is verbal as well as nonverbal, are referred to as pragmatic language (Al-Wehaibi & Alajlan, 2022). This includes maintaining the topic and using appropriate facial expressions, gestures, body language, and communication intent. Understanding something to express, when to convey it, as well as how to express it are all necessary.

Early Predictors of Developing Strong Literacy Skills

Print Motivation

Interpreting ideas of print, including where to start reading a book or page and which direction to read in, as well as being aware of and interpreting environmental print are all necessary for making sense of print. All of these is probably acquired through social interaction with people in the print environment (Duke, Ward & Pearson, 2021).


The most crucial ability for kids to be equipped with when starting out with reading is (having an understanding the names of things). A child ought to understand between 3,000 and 4,500 words when they begin attending school (Fox, 2014). By reading a range of books (both fiction and nonfiction) often and imparting the proper names of all the things in the child’s surroundings, teachers can aid in the vocabulary development of their students.

Narrative Skills

Teachers can assist a youngster with comprehending, narrating, and describing events such as what transpired at a birthday celebration or about a visit to Grandma’s (Al-Wehaibi & Alajlan, 2022). Instead of always having their children listen to you read, parents can help them develop stronger narrative skills by having them explain what is occurring in a tale or book.

Phonological Awareness

This is the awareness of how to work with the sounds that words make. The capacity to pronounce words with missing sounds, hear and produce rhymes and combine two word chunks to form new words are examples of awareness of phonology (Fox, 2014). Children who have issues with phonological awareness frequently struggle to learn to read.

Letter Knowledge

This is the capacity to identify, name, and pronounce both upper- and lowercase letters as well as the sounds they make. Teachers can improve a kid’s alphabet skills by including them in different pleasurable reading and writing tasks, including showing out and labeling the characters in a manuscript, sketching the letters in sand or using paintbrushes to paint letters (Dziedzic, 2022).

Analysis and Reflection

How Listening and Speaking Develop the Foundation for Reading and Writing in Language Development

According to research, a child’s eventual success in reading, writing, and spelling is tied to how well they can utilize spoken language, pay attention to and understand spoken words, and comprehend written words (Gustanti & Ayu, 2021). Beginning in early childhood and continuing throughout life, spoken language abilities develop. As it is essential to giving a thoughtful and thorough response, listening is the most important aspect of communication. Listening and speaking are a crucial parts of language learning, particularly when acquiring a language for communication. They enable language learners to pick up spelling, word stress, terminologies, and syntax. They also enable them to understand statements solely according to tone of voice, pitch, and pronunciation. Studies have demonstrated that oral language exercises improve reading comprehension skills, especially for more challenging books in later grades, therefore time spent developing abilities to speak and listen is especially crucial for reading comprehension (Fox, 2014).

Relationship Between Early Literacy Skills and Learning to Read

According to research, the best strategies to ensure the growth of psychological abilities and pre-reading skills that guarantee students are ready for achievement in school, such as reading at grade-level, as well as later life are early literacy experiences, prospects for developing vocabularies, and settings rich in literature (Rastle, 2019). Children who possess these fundamental (or foundational literacy) skills at the beginning of elementary school acquire the ability to read and write faster and are therefore better prepared for academic success. Early assessment of these abilities is crucial since an interruption in their development could be a precursor to a difficulty with language or a reading issue. Ideal early reading competency assessments should be quick and easy for instructors and educators to use in order to optimize recognition chances.

Early Literacy is critical in several ways. Developing a solid vocabulary with young children is crucial for them to become proficient readers and learners throughout their lives, express themselves and establish reading comprehension. A young child can attend preschool with an affection of literature and an eagerness to study thanks to these abilities (Gustanti & Ayu, 2021). A child’s brain develops as a result of reading to them. Early in childhood, the brain begins to link meaningfully, and the initial five years of life are when the brain develops at the fastest rate of any other time. A child’s general understanding and vocabulary will grow when they develop an affection of reading early on.

How Research has Influenced Reading Instruction

Over past twenty decades, research has uncovered a wealth of information regarding how readers stem meaning from the texts they come across including the type of educational lessons and techniques which are most operative in helping pupils become proficient readers (Rastle, 2019). Reading instruction for decades have been predicated with the idea that reading has been the practical use of a set of detached skills, including recognition of words, link recognition of cause and effect, discovery of main ideas, sequencing and contrast and comparison. Children get the chance to enhance their oral and written language skills while also learning the fundamentals of reading through research-based reading instruction. The twelve parts of reading teaching for grades one through three serves as examples of these opportunities in the classroom.

The influence of research on reading instruction has significantly impacted all teachers. It has promoted internalization and practice of research practices and methodologies, as well as abilities like developing a focused inquiry and processing and keeping track student’s progress in reading. Through comprehensive research on reading teachers can increase the possibility of students can to remember, recollect, and use the concepts they have acquired (Fox, 2014). Despite of the increasing number of improvements taking place in schools, the accomplishment of students will meaningfully increase until educators and school administrators reliably support research-based instructional practices.


In conclusion, it is critical to examine how over the past 20 years, research has influenced the way reading education has been delivered and understood, with focus on the main areas of instruction. Among the five areas of instructional focus include reading comprehension, phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency and vocabulary. The critical universal of language systems incorporate morphology, phonology, semantics, syntax and pragmatics. Through different ways, speaking and reading helps in developing the foundation for writing and reading in development of language. Besides, there is a significant connection between learning to read and early literacy skills. Over the past two decades, research has significant contributed to delivery and understanding of reading instructions. It has also led to several positive impacts on not only students but also educators.










Al-Wehaibi, M. A., & Alajlan, M. I. (2022). Teachers Knowledge Of Special Education: Essential Components Of Effective Reading Instruction. Journal of Positive School Psychology6(11), 2264-2282.

Duke, N. K., Ward, A. E., & Pearson, P. D. (2021). The science of reading comprehension instruction. The Reading Teacher74(6), 663-672. https://doi.org/10.1177/02656590211014246

Dziedzic, M. E. (2022). Developing Teacher Knowledge of the Science of Reading: Phonemic Awareness & Phonics. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/gradprojects/185

Fox, D.S. (2014), “Research-Based Instructional Strategies in the Classroom: The Missing Link in the School Improvement Process”, Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 93-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-366020140000021016

Gustanti, Y., & Ayu, M. (2021). The Correlation Between Cognitive Reading Strategies and Students’english Proficiency Test Score. Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning2(2), 95-100. https://doi.org/10.33365/jeltl.v2i2.1452

Rastle, K. (2019). The place of morphology in learning to read in English. Cortex116, 45-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2018.02.008


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