What Comes Before Emergent Reader?

What Comes Before Emergent Reader?

Teaching children to read can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! By focusing on phonemic awareness skills such as letter-sound correspondence, rhyming, clapping at syllables and more, you can equip your students with the tools they need to start their reading journey.

Developing Phonemic Awareness Skills

Phonemic awareness is essential for emergent readers. It involves understanding that spoken language is composed of smaller sounds or phonemes which make up words. According to the National Institute for Literacy, research shows that “children who have these knowledge and skills before they enter school are more likely to become successful readers.”

One of the best ways to help students learn phonemic awareness skills is through playful activities like rhyming, clapping at syllables and letter-sound matching—all of which can begin as early as preschool levels! Here are some ideas you can use with your students:


  • Rhyming: Start by introducing rhymes with simple words like “cat” and “hat” and then move onto longer words like “truck” and “duck.” You could even turn it into a game by having them guess which word rhymes after hearing two or three examples given in succession.


  • Clapping at Syllables: Repeat familiar words out loud and then clap each time a new syllable appears in each word. Have your student try copying the same pattern back for practice!


  • Letter-Sound Matching: Teaching letter-sound correspondence to early readers is important as it helps them develop the foundational skills they need to become successful readers. By understanding that spoken language is composed of smaller sounds or phonemes which make up words, children can learn how to read and comprehend text at a faster pace. Additionally, knowing letter-sound correspondence will also help students focus on spelling rules with more confidence.


    Why Building Foundational Skills Matters

    It's important to start laying the groundwork for a child's reading journey early on—it helps create an environment where learning new concepts becomes more natural over time. Dr Kathryn Lasky explains it this way: "The single most important thing parents can do is talk to their babies and young children — say stories, sing songs — all during those very critical years from zero to three."

    Not only does this help build their phonological memory but also teach them how language works; things like how intonation affects meaning or where sentences usually begin within a conversation—this sets the stage for stronger comprehension abilities down the line once they start learning about books and reading itself in school settings!

    Conclusion 𝐈𝐭 All Starts Early!

    When it comes down to reading proficiency, it all starts early—even before emergent reader levels arrive! By teaching our students foundational phonic awareness skills through play time activities such as rhyming games, clapping at syllables and letter-sound matching exercises we are setting them up for success down their academic path later on. So why not start today?




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