Reading readiness has been defined as the point at which a person is ready to learn to read and the time during which a person transitions from being a non-reader into a reader. Other terms for reading readiness include early literacy and emergent reading.
Children begin to learn pre-reading skills at birth while they listen to the speech around them. In order to learn to read, a child must first have knowledge of the oral language. According to the Ontario Government (2003), the acquisition of language is natural, but the process of learning to read is not - reading must be taught. This belief contradicts basic language philosophy, which states that children learn to read while they learn to speak. The Ontario Government (2003) also believes that reading is the foundation for success, and that those children who struggle with reading in grades 1-3 are at a disadvantage in terms of academic success, compared to those children who are not struggling.
Because a child's early experience with literacy-related activities is highly correlated to the child's success with reading, it is important to consider a child's developmental level when choosing appropriate activities and goals. Early and enjoyable pre-reading experiences set the stage for a child's desire to learn. By participating in developmentally-appropriate activities (activities that are fun and challenging, but not frustrating), the child gains knowledge that will serve as the foundation for further learning as he or she enters the school system.
Reading readiness is highly individualistic. There is no "one size fits all" solution to teaching a child to read. A parent or educator may need to employ several techniques before finding the most appropriate method for an individual child. According to Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development a child can, through the help of an adult or more capable child, perform at a higher level than he or she can independently. The process of learning to read should thus be supported by a caring and supportive individual.
Whole Language: With this model, language is kept whole rather than segmented into fragments or skills. Within this philosophy, children are expected to learn to read and write in the same manner that they learn to talk. Reading, writing and oral language are considered to be intertwined. Some strategies according to the whole language model include encouraging the child to learn to read by "reading," and making up stories that they think go along with the pictures in the book. This model also believes that adults should allow the child to witness reading behaviors, such as holding a book properly. It is also important for adults to model these behaviors in an environment that is free from criticism (Matthews, Klassen and Walter, 1999). An early proponent of whole language reading instruction called reading a "psycholinguistic guessing game," and thus children are taught to guess words that they don't know by using context clues. Skipping unknown words is encouraged, and "inventive" spelling is also acceptable.
Phonics: This popular method focuses on the relationship between what is SEEN and HEARD. Students learn rules for using alphabet letters (graphemes). "Sounding-out letters" can often be confusing because many words do not follow the rules -- the rules are inconsistent and unreliable. However, the phonics approach is measurably MORE effective than having made NO attempt to teach language structure.
It is suggested that by providing the children with the knowledge of spelling patterns (that is, the combination of letters that are likely to occur within the English language) that spelling and reading will become much easier for the child. It is thought that once we (as adults) really look at the rules to the English language we use everyday and have internalized within ourselves, that it will become clear that there is some order and regular patterns that we follow. Once we are aware of these patterns, we can help children begin to understand these rules that we follow on a daily basis.
The two most influential perspectives are the growth-readiness view and the environmentalist view. The growth-readiness view focuses on the internal workings of the child in order to determine readiness, while environmentalists focus on the external environment. Both internal factors such as genetics and environmental aspects such as school atmosphere can influence a child’s readiness for reading.
The following is a list of books that are great for young readers. They contain vital elements such as repetition and bright colors. Many of these books also encourage the child to use their imagination by filling in the blank and taking an active role in the story.
Predictive Power of Attention and Reading Readiness Variables on Auditory Reasoning and Processing Skills of Six-Year-Old Children
Jan 01, 2013; AbstractThe aim of present research was to describe the relation of six-year-old children's attention and reading readiness...
BookWagon turns new page on reading readiness -- Regional Library bus will serve preschoolers in 5 counties
Apr 14, 2008; First Regional Library's Words on Wheels BookWagon will hit the road for the first time this week with stops at schools and child...