Early childhood is characterized by the rapid development of human mental abilities, enabling individuals to acquire all fundamental literacy skills by eight years. In this regard, healthy literacy development possesses several specific phases, including emergent reading, early reading, transitional reading, and fluency (“Stages of literacy development,” n.d.). During the emergent reading stage, children usually learn different sounds, signs, and even letters. They also begin using words necessary for everyday life and master print concepts, such as understanding the left-to-right reading technique or the difference between a word and a letter.
The early reading phase may start in kindergarten and proceed to the first grade. During this stage, children’s vocabulary expands significantly, which can aid them in reading elementary texts and guessing other words. The transitional reading stage lasts from the first to second grade. Children begin reading noticeably faster during this stage, especially stories with common words. Finally, in around third grade, children enter the fluent reading stage and can read a wide variety of texts containing more complicated plotlines.
Literacy in a second language is much better attained when the native language skills are sufficiently developed. In this respect, second language acquisition has five stages, namely the receptive phase, early production, the emergence of speech, as well as the development of intermediate and advanced fluency. For example, learners acquire and practice new words and short phrases at receptive and early production stages. Intermediate fluency is characterized by substantial vocabulary and the ability to communicate clearly by applying complex sentences.
In the contemporary world, technologies offer a vast range of opportunities for families to help their children master reading and writing skills. One strategy that boosts literacy acquisition is gamification which implies utilizing various interactive apps and software to help children practice their spelling, grammar, and sounding out phonics. For example, the Reading Tub proposes many educational online websites with games and activities that can be interesting and useful for a child (“Games and activities,” n.d.). The second strategy is collaborative learning providing students with the excellent opportunity to enhance their skills by working together on projects, for instance, distinguishing verbs and nouns. In particular, collaborative tools can include Quizlet, Group Me, Kahoot, Drawp for School, and many others. Finally, the last strategy should aim at developing writing skills in children profoundly. In particular, such a device as ActivPanel helps learners improve fine motor skills, which ultimately reflects on their calligraphy and accuracy (Lawson-West, 2018).
Development of Literacy Skills in Multiple Contexts
Home experience and socio-cultural status play an essential and versatile role in children’s literacy development. Parents’ cultural beliefs, values, outlook, educational background, and financial opportunities determine children’s learning abilities, attitudes, and disposition towards studies, as well as the earliest education access. For instance, the study by Gorcikova and Safr (2016) revealed that children’s involvement in reading activities, early reading skills, and cognitive abilities are considerably connected with a families’ educational background. The authors also note that early reading activities in preschool age, which wealthy families typically provide for their children, can improve the initial literacy skills. In addition, literacy and culture are also closely intertwined since people cannot learn reading and writing skills independently of the culturally accepted knowledge that defines what individuals communicate about. Thus, educators should focus on developing preschool literacy activities and encouraging families of different socio-cultural statuses to participate in their children’s learning process.
Games and activities. (n.d.). The Reading Tub. Web.
Gorcikova, M., & Safr, J. (2016). The impact of socio-cultural background on children’s literacy development. Third ISA Forum of Sociology. Web.
Lawson-West, J. (2018). 5 ways technology can help engage students with literacy. Education Technology. Web.
Stages of literacy development. (n.d.). Primary Learning. Web.