Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 143–151 | Cite as

Developing Readers: Understanding Concept of Word in Text Development in Emergent Readers

  • Emily C. C. Bowling
  • Sonia Q. CabellEmail author


A child’s ability to fingerpoint accurately to words while reading aloud a memorized text showcases his/her development of concept of word in text. This ability demonstrates the extent to which key early literacy skills are integrated (e.g., alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness). Research indicates that attaining a concept of word in text is a watershed literacy event that allows a reader to more readily acquire a store of sight words. Concept of word in text develops in a predictable fashion, progressing in three stages: developing, rudimentary, and firm. During the kindergarten year, teachers can foster children’s development of concept of word in text in order to accelerate children’s literacy learning. This article provides instructional suggestions that teachers can use to support this development.


Early literacy Concept of word in text Concept of word Emergent reading Scaffolding 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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