10.1 Introduction

As children are provided opportunities at home, in the community, and at school to engage in language- and literacy-rich experiences, their literacy knowledge and skills continue to develop. The literacy skills they develop from birth through their prekindergarten years provide a foundation for the development of the conventional literacy skills children need as they become more proficient readers and writers (NELP, 2008). The National Early Literacy Panel (2008) identified conventional literacy skills as “decoding, oral reading fluency, reading comprehension, writing, and spelling” (p. vii). As discussed throughout this textbook, educators play an important role in developing young children’s oral language, emergent reading, and emergent writing development. Educators are also instrumental in meeting children where they are and ensuring that they continue to make positive progress along the developmental continuum, including children who may be progressing in advance of their peers. Therefore, it is important for educators to understand what is next as emergent readers and writers progress. When educators know what is next, they are better able to plan and implement assessment and instruction that promotes children’s oral language development and supports the development of conventional literacy skills.

This chapter will enable each student to

Illustration of a bird's nest Develop an awareness of young children’s language and literacy development during the later prekindergarten and early primary years.
Illustration of a bird in flight Examine how young children progress as they become more proficient readers and writers.
illustration of a branch Explore ways in which early childhood educators can support young children as their language and literacy knowledge and skills continue to develop.

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The Early Literacy Journey: Supporting and Celebrating Young Learners Copyright © 2024 by Sandra Carrie Garvey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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