Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Emergent Literacy

  • Carrie R. Ball
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_982



Emergent literacy is a model describing the process of learning to read.


Two basic models exist regarding the development of early literacy skills: reading readiness and emergent literacy. The reading readiness model represents a traditional perspective, suggesting that children begin learning to read only after they have reached a certain threshold of maturation. According to this model, learning to read begins at a discrete point in time; readiness can be accelerated somewhat via early learning experiences but relies primarily on individual development [6].

The reading readiness model has been deemphasized over the past several years with the introduction of an emergent literacy model. Emergent literacy espouses a more fluid model of reading development, proposing that children acquire early literacy skills through a gradually occurring process, which is not necessarily initiated at a particular...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carrie R. Ball
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational PsychologyBall State UniversityMuncieUSA