Skip Site Navigation to page content menu

What is Early Literacy?

Early Literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Between birth and five years of age, children develop six essential pre-reading skills that will help them learn to read when they start school. Techniques for developing the skills defined below:

  • Vocabulary Is knowing the names of things.
  • Letter Knowledge Is learning to name letters, knowing they have sounds and recognizing them everywhere.
  • Print Awareness Is noticing print, knowing how to handle a book, and recognizing print everywhere.
  • Narrative Skills Is the ability to describe events and to tell stories.
  • Phonological AwarenessIs the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
  • Print Motivation Child's interest in and enjoyment of books.

Definitions of Early Literacy and the six skills are from the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library® project, a joint project of the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. To find out more about this project, visit Every Child Ready to Read @ your library ®

Select the link appropriate to your child's age to find out what you can do to develop these skills in your children.

back to page menu