Submitted by sam on Thu, 04/20/2023 - 08:18

The Importance of Developing Emergent Reading Skills in Early Childhood


One of the most important areas of development in early childhood is emergent reading skills. Kids develop these abilities and behaviors before they are formally taught to read. In this article, we'll explore why emergent reading skills are so important. and provide some tips on how to support your child's development in this area.


What are Emergent Reading Skills?

Emergent reading skills are what children learn before they start reading formally. These skills include knowing letters, understanding sounds, and knowing words. They help kids learn to read and comprehend things better. That's why they're important for young children to learn. It helps them succeed in school later on.

Print Awareness

This refers to a child's understanding of the printed word. This includes the ability to recognize letters, words, and sentences on a page.

Letter Knowledge

This is the ability to recognize and name letters of the alphabet.

Phonological Awareness

This is the ability to identify and manipulate the sounds of spoken language. This includes skills such as rhyming, segmenting, and blending.

Vocabulary Development

This refers to the growth of a child's vocabulary. This includes understanding the meaning of words and being able to use them appropriately.


Last but not least, this is the ability to understand what is being read. This includes understanding the meaning of individual words and the overall meaning of a text.


Why are Emergent Reading Skills Important?

Developing emergent reading skills is a critical part of early childhood development. It has long-lasting benefits. By nurturing these skills, parents and teachers can help set children up for success. Here are the benefits that make it essential:

Academic Achievement

Children who have well-developed emergent reading skills are more likely to succeed in school. This is because they have the ability to comprehend and learn new concepts more easily. Additionally, they are more likely to excel in reading and writing tasks. Both are foundational skills necessary for academic success in all subjects.

Language Development

Secondly, emergent reading skills are also closely tied to language development. As children develop this skill, they also improve their communication and language abilities. This is because reading helps to build vocabulary, grammar, and syntax. All of which are essential components of effective communication. By improving their language skills, children can more effectively express themselves. And consequently, engage with the world around them.

Lifelong Learning

Finally, developing strong emergent reading skills also sets children up for lifelong learning. When children have a strong foundation in reading, it'll be easier for them. Thus, making them more likely to become enthusiastic learners. They'll be more curious and engaged with the world. 


How Can Parents and Teachers Support the Development of Emergent Reading Skills?

Here are some effective strategies that can help:

Read Aloud to Your Child

Reading aloud to your child is an easy yet effective way to do this. Choose books that are appropriate for your child's age and interests. Opt for picture books, and incorporate high-frequency words. Reading aloud helps to develop print awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. It also helps children learn about sentence structure and the flow of language. Make reading aloud a regular part of your day, such as before bedtime or during storytime at school.

Provide a Print-Rich Environment

Surround your child with reading materials, such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Make sure that books are easily accessible, including emergent reader books that have repetitive sentences, core vocabulary, and simple sentence structures. Encourage your child to explore books on their own and point out words and letters in everyday life, such as on signs and labels.

Engage in Conversations

Engaging in conversations with your child on a regular basis is crucial to developing their language skills and comprehension skills. Ask open-ended questions and encourage your child to share their thoughts and ideas. This helps them to develop their vocabulary, sentence structure, and the use of complex sentences.

Play Word Games

Playing word games, such as rhyming, segmenting, and blending, can help develop phonological awareness skills. Incorporating fun games and songs into your daily routine helps to make the learning process more enjoyable for your child.

Use Technology

Incorporating technology, such as e-books, educational apps, and educational games, can be an effective way to support the development of emergent reading skills. However, it is important to choose age-appropriate materials and limit screen time to appropriate levels.

It is important to remember that developing emergent reading skills is a process that takes time and patience. Provide a supportive and encouraging environment. Celebrate each milestone in your child's reading journey. With consistent practice and support, your child will be well on their way to becoming a confident and skilled reader.



Developing emergent reading skills is essential for early childhood education. It provides the foundation for successful reading and academic achievement in later years. As a parent or educator, you play a crucial role in supporting this process. By doing so, you are setting them up for success in school and in life.

Developing Emergent Reading

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