Emergent Literacy Skills
Children who are learning English as a second language and live in homes where languages other than English are spoken are known as English-language learners (ELLs). Therefore, it is imperative that preschool personnel be trained to support the emergent literacy skills that prepare preschoolers to enter kindergarten ready to learn to read (Garcia & Gonzalez, 2006). Emergent literacy skills are believed to develop during preschool years for most children, when they are in the process of becoming literate. The National Early Literacy Panel (2004) identified alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, writing/writing name, oral language skills, and concepts about print in preschool children as predictors of later reading and writing success in elementary school children. To achieve success, ELLs must be in environments in which - • The first language and literacy are not only valued, but enriched in a planned and systematic manner. • Instruction in English as a second language (ESL) is targeted to the child's English-language developmental level while also being challenging. • Teachers are knowledgeable about the normal processes of ESL development and literacy development in bilinguals. • The program has a strong home-school connection that provides parent training and views parents as resources.
Emergent Literacy Skills are organized into four domains:
Print knowledge refers to a child's growing understanding of the relationship between the form and purpose of print (e.g., Adams, 1990; Print knowledge has been associated with reading ability in English as a second language in ELLs (Klingner, Artiles, & Barletta, 2006). Exposure to different print in different languages helps the child connect writing to his or her native language and culture and also raises the awareness of the symbolic and arbitrary nature of written language.