The Importance Of Reading Instruction On The Right Age And Readiness For Early Literacy Learning

The Importance Of Reading Instruction On The Right Age And Readiness For Early Literacy Learning

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Literary competence, simply stated, involves the development of deciphering print and comprehending what it means. (Department of Education, Science, and Training, 2005). Reading is described as a complex developmental challenge that is a combination of many elements that include, responsiveness, memory, language skills, and motivation (Reutzel & Cooter, 2012). When considering ‘reading’ from a teaching perspective there must be many factors that be taken into account. For effective reading instruction to occur, it is important to understand not only the processes of how and when a child learns to read and write, but what inspires them to read. There are multiple notions on the right age and readiness for early literacy learning, but there is a general consensus that there are two common approaches that correlate with learning these skills. The first is a skills-based approach, which requires teaching structured literacy elements, and the other is meaning-based, which concentrates on comprehension as a critical element. Effective reading instruction occurs when a balanced literacy approach is implemented, and each area needs to be explicitly and systematically taught for learning to occur, and strategies in place to work towards developing independent readers who can read text fluently, but also understand it.

The first commonly agreed upon notion is that effective reading instruction is successful by implementing strategies that include structured literacy elements (Konza, 2006). One critical element is phonological awareness. This relates to the child’s ability to understand the sounds, words, and syllables in spoken language (Hill, 2012, p. 133). These cues also include timing, intonation and stress often heard in early readi...


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...cts of how a child learns to read, but also how to engage a modern day child with rich, authentic texts that motivates them and connects to their social backgrounds. An educator should incorporate curriculum and also be open to choose, adapt, and structure approaches using techniques that best fit their teaching styles and situations. Approaching literacy with a balanced approach of both meaning and skill orientated methods, supports a child’s phonological awareness development and comprehension skills, and supports the elements that surround these components. Each area needs to be explicitly and systematically taught for learning to occur, and strategies set in place to work towards developing independent readers who can read text fluently, but also create meaning from it, which is both beneficial and critical in the long-term success in a child’s literacy journey.

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