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School of Family Studies and Human Services

Emergent Literacy

Helping Young Children's Development through Reading

Young children begin to learn about print and words long before achieving literacy. This process, known as emergent literacy, is the precursor to development in multiple developmental domains, including the use of language, understanding word sounds and reading comprehension as part of cognitive development. Additionally, shared reading (reading with a child) during the emergent literacy phase provides ample opportunities for adults and children to cooperate in their children's social-emotional development. This lesson will provide parents and teachers of young children with information about how to make reading more fun, engaging and beneficial to their children's overall development. Adults will be provided with a fact sheet outlining the benefits of shared reading, with specific strategies for engagement, as well as a lesson to provide guidance on how to creatively implement these strategies in the real world.