Designing literacy programs for preschool children

Laura Justice and Jill Pentimonti describe how to help prepare children for learning to read in school

CHILDREN WHO ALREADY HAVE well-developed literacy skills when they begin to learn to read at school are often described as being “ready to learn”. Formal reading instruction involves, at least in part, helping children to learn the systematic relations between sounds and letters (phonemes and graphemes); this is referred to as the alphabetic principle. Evidence suggests that children are better able to learn the alphabetic principle when they have a basic understanding of sounds and letters, which in turn serves as the foundation for reading achievement over the primary grades.

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May 2013