Preschooler storytime and emergent reading skills

A study published in the June 2008 issue of Developmental Psychology examined children's attention to print when read to. Most of the research in emergent literacy skills focuses on phonological awareness - the understanding of the sounds made by the letters. However, studies have consistently shown that print knowledge (knowing the names of letters, understanding how print is organized) is also an important pre-reading ability. The study found that preschoolers look at the pictures rather than the words when their parents read to them. However, they paid more attention to print when parents referenced it verbally or nonverbally. Pointing to the words when reading had a big impact on kids' attention to the text. The researchers surmised that this attention might lead to development of print knowledge that could facilitate literacy.

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