“Literacy is a journey, not a race.”
-Bonnie Hill Campbell
Nukilik just turned 5-years-old in January and has started showing increased literacy proficiency. Ms. Ling reflects on her assessment data on Nukilik’s language and literacy growth over the past 5 months and feels that he is moving out of the emergent phase of literacy development and is ready to learn new skills. Ms. Ling has noticed that Nukilik can write his name with ease, draw detailed stories, and write words using invented spelling and some conventional spelling. He writes sentences and will add a sentence when asked questions that help him think about additional details. He is beginning to write about a variety of topics and recently realized that he could entertain his classmates with his make-believe stories. He draws from the books that are read to him to get ideas for his stories.
Ms. Ling has observed that Nukilik holds books correctly and is often seen with a book in the library area. When she reads with him, she has noticed an increase in the number of words he recognizes by sight and that he is attempting to decode some phonetically regular words. During read alouds, Nukilik is becoming more adept at predicting what comes next and is eager to answer questions that Ms. Ling poses to the class. Ms. Ling can also tell that he is becoming more proficient at retelling stories and sharing information from nonfiction texts. She often finds him engaged in dramatic play based on a book she recently read aloud. He has also become quite a conversationalist and enjoys talking with classmates. Ms. Ling has noted that he has started to use increasingly correct grammar when speaking English and is attempting to use vocabulary from the books she reads to the class in his conversations. He also continues to speak in his home language, especially during play, and incorporates words from his home language into his writing.
Ms. Ling is excited about the way Nukilk is using language and how his reading and writing are developing. She recognizes that she can foster continued growth by providing challenging and engaging learning experiences for Nukilik. Based on her assessments of his language and literacy progressions, Ms. Ling realizes that Nukilik is transitioning from emergent to conventional literacy. She knows that she needs to prepare for what comes next for Nukilik to nurture his continued growth.