Learning to Become Literate

2997 WordsApr 2, 200512 Pages
Learning to Become Literate "In any literate society, people constantly see the best way to teach children how to read and write so that the younger generation can become fully functioning members of that society." (Savage 15) This is obviously an important goal of any society that wants their children to be well educated and succeed in the world. Learning to be literate is a very important developmental milestone that is recognized cross-culturally. Its social importance is shown in the fact that in school; literacy makes up 2/3 of the three "R's". (Savage 15) When becoming literate the most important thing a child can learn is that they can in fact learn in the way their school wants them to. They can be part of the school society and…show more content…
(65) Another source is nursery rhymes. A study in England showed that the children who knew more nursery rhymes at age three and a half could learn to read faster then those who knew fewer. (Bee 254) "Sight Vocabulary" is also attained around the house before formal education begins. This involves words that a child can recognize due to size, shape, color or way it is written. Examples include a stop sign, crest toothpaste, or McDonald's. (66) The lack of these everyday items is highly associated with the lack of literacy. (89) The first steps toward literacy can be shown between the ages of one to five where children use talking, drawing and playing as symbols to communicate meaning. These early forms of a child's communication are said to be "bridges to literacy". (11) 4 Early writing skills are easily visible and include marks on paper, scribbling and drawing. Even these scribbles display characteristics of the writing if the child's culture. Consequently, "the writings of four year olds from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, and America will look different long before the children can write conventionally. (Strickland and Morrow 3) As time goes on children wills tart to try and attempt marks that look more and more like letters. Robert Gundlach calls this mix of writing and drawing a "mixed medium". (Bee 5) The beginning stages of reading are less visible because it takes place internally. The child may
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