Emergent Readers in Early Childhood Education

This semester students in READ 6325 explored professional resources on a variety of topics.

By Irma Ramirez

Early childhood educators work daily in the attempt to educate school aged children from the ages of 4 to 8 years. In order to become successful in fostering emergent literacy in young children, educators must be able to access the latest research and teaching trends. There are many professional resources that educators can reference to enhance their knowledge about fostering emergent literacy in their young learners.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children is a worldwide organization that works towards upholding the needs and rights of all young children and educating people who work directly with children from birth through 8 years of age. Their continuous research on supporting the development of emergent readers can be found on their website and in two professional publications that members of NAEYC receive for free: Young Children, a professional peer reviewed journal featuring current research in the early childhood field, and Teaching Young Children, a magazine designed for early childhood teachers that offers useful teaching tips. Both publications are issued 5 times a year and members also receive full online access to both subscriptions with additional training guides. Members also receive discounts on books and registration fees. Any individual can become a member with NAEYC such as parents, paraprofessionals, teachers, and college educators. Anyone interested in becoming a member can join their state’s AEYC affiliation or local affiliations in their area. Membership fees differ for students and professionals ranging from $90.00 to $135.00 dollars. Additional information on NAEYC can be found on their webpage at www.naeyc.org.  

In addition to the two publications issued through NAEYC, educators can find articles related to emergent reading in professional journals. Early Childhood Research Quarterly is one such journal that is dedicated to publishing empirical research in the field of early childhood education. ECRQ publications are reviewed by a review board to ensure that the research meets the highest standards in qualitative or quantitative research. An extensive number of articles on emergent literacy in early childhood have been published in ECRQ. Articles cover information of topics such as literacy interventions for emergent readers, teaching strategies, the benefits of emergent literacy skills in young children. The ECRQ is published four times a year. Subscriptions may be purchased by institutions at the cost of about $500.00. Students and college educators may gain access to articles from ECRQ through their university libraries. All full text articles can also be purchased for a 24 hour period at www.journals.elsevier.com/early-childhood-research-quarterly/ for a fee of $31.50 per article.

The Early Childhood Education Journal is another peer reviewed journal that publishes extensive research in regards to emergent literacy and reading in early childhood. Early care educators and teachers working with school aged children can benefit from the articles published in Early Childhood Education Journal. Information on subject matter such as curriculum design strategies for emergent literacy, books that support emergent literacy in young children, and nurturing emergent readers through Readers Theater, are just a few of the topics that can help teachers foster emergent literacy instruction in the classrooms. The ECE Journal can be purchased by institutions at a cost of $850.00 dollars. Subscribers receive six issues per year along with full access to all journal articles online at www.springer.com. Individuals not subscribed can also gain online access to all electronic full text articles for a fee of $34.95 per article.

Professional books are also a great resource to help give teachers insight and knowledge on how children learn and develop literacy skills. Literacy: Helping Students Construct Meaning by David Cooper is a professional book designed for teachers working young children. This book helps teachers understand how children learn and how they acquire emergent literacy skills. It also breaks down the details of a comprehensive balanced literacy program, gives teachers strategies to help children construct meaning, and beginning reading instruction with young children I have personally read this book and consider it to be a great source for educators looking to expand their knowledge of emergent literacy and for students enrolled in higher education who are working to become certified as educators. This book can be purchased online through any major bookstore for about $100.00 to $150.00 dollars.

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