The Importance Of Emergent Literacy In Language Development

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Emergent literacy is an important aspect of language development and serves as a sound basis for determining whether early intervention is necessary. Emergent literacy skills are precursory to more formal literacy development, and may include a child scribbling on paper prior to forming letters or a child developing an interest in books prior to developing reading skills (Justice & Pullen, 2003). Recent research has found that children developing a sound basis of emergent literacy skills were more likely to be on par with their peers when it came to the normal development of these skills. Juel (1988) conducted a longitudinal study in regards to literacy development and found evidence to support this claim. They found that those who were poor …show more content…
These poor formal literacy skills were then likely to affect other academic subjects in school. It is thus of great importance to examine whether a child is developing an expansive repertoire of knowledge in the emergent literacy stage. It is important for teachers and adults involved in the instruction of the child to ensure that these skills are developing by assessing the child’s emergent literacy skills either formally or informally and by offering an environment and materials that will cater to the development of these skills (Justice & Pullen, 2003; Bus, 2001). In the emergent literacy stage, adults and instructors alike should determine whether the child has developed written and phonological awareness (Justice & Pullen, 2003). Written awareness pertains to the child’s awareness to the nature of written language, and phonological awareness pertains to the child’s awareness to the structured sounds that are required to output oral language (Justice & Pullen, 2003). To ensure that the child develops phonological and written awareness, it is important for adults to create an adult-mediated and contextually meaningful environment to ensure productive learning (Bus, …show more content…
Nativists sees children as pre-programmed to be able to acquire literacy knowledge (Bruce, 2011). Nativists do not believe that children automatically have literacy knowledge, rather they have an inborn specific language-learning device that allows for them to to acquire this knowledge (Gomez & Gerken, 2000). These innate and inborn abilities are important from the nativists perspective as they argue that these abilities allow us to draw inferences from the environment and analyse incoming information (Spelke & Kinzler, 2009). Due to the idea that children already have this inborn language-learning device, nativists emphasis the importance of allowing the child to gather literacy skills from the environment, as nature intended, and should be uninterrupted by adult intervention (Gomez & Gerken, 2000; Bruce, 2011). Nativists do not entirely disqualify adults from the literacy learning process, rather they believe that the child should be independent in the learning process and if they desire to call on an adult for guidance, they should be able to (Bruce, 2011). In order to support the claim of ‘natural’ learning, Nieder, Freedman & Miller (2002) have conducted research that indicates the existence of this inborn learning device. They claim that neurons in brain regions involved in mathematical computation are activated when specific numbers of

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