In the early years, the teaching of language and literacy should provide children ample opportunities to explore themselves as readers and writers, along with providing a balance of learning ‘lower-order’ skills (e.g., phonological awareness, decoding, writing letters and words correctly) and ‘higher-order’ skills (e.g., oral language development, engaging with books, drawing, and original writing) which are meaning-focused.National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
Teaching Strategies to Teach Language and Literacy at Foundational Stage
At present, early language classrooms are focussed mainly on teaching the varnamala and matras, choral repetition of a text being read by the Teacher or children and copying or handwriting practice. There is little emphasis on meaning-oriented work, and few opportunities are provided for children to develop as readers and writers.
What is Emergent Literacy at Foundational Stage?
Emergent Literacy is defined as the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that children develop about reading and writing before they become conventionalNational Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022
or fluent readers and writers. With adequate exposure to print and opportunities to read and write, children could start learning to read and write from a very young age and much before they are able to decode and write conventionally (using
letters and words).
The emergent literacy phase is an important part of the process for young children to learn how to read and write. Emergent literacy includes both emergent
reading and writing:
Emergent reading skills
Emergent reading skills include print awareness and learning print concepts, pretend reading, and reading words as pictures (logographic reading). Concepts about print is an awareness about how print works: that print conveys meaning, that it is used for different purposes, and that written texts and books have different features, forms, and conventions.
Emergent writing skills
Emergent writing skills include drawing and scribbling to represent something. Children express themselves in a form of writing and talking about what they have written. Young children’s writing is related to their talk, experiences, drawing, reading, and pretend-play. At later Stages, children also use letter-like shapes and invent their own spellings (e.g., kat for cat, बनद for बिंदु) before gradually understanding the relationship between sound and symbols and moving towards conventional spellings and writing.
Do you know?
Children acquire emergent reading and writing skills through exposure to print at home and outside (e.g., recognizing labels, listening to story books being read to them, seeing people write or draw). Many children do not get exposure to print and may join school with little awareness of print. They need to be initiated into understanding print through a print-rich environment at school and through engagement with books. Children need to understand how literacy is useful for them before they are taught to read and write letters.
Strategies that support Emergent Literacy
Some strategies that support emergent literacy include:
a. Encouraging children to engage with books and to ‘pretend read’ (look and say), illustrated storybooks that they have listened to being read aloud by the Teacher.
b. Encouraging children to draw and write or scribble on the floor, on their slates or notebooks to express themselves (e.g., after a storytelling session).
c. Creating a print-rich environment in the classroom through use of print resources (e.g., big books, picture books, story posters, poem posters, children’s magazines) displayed or kept in the classroom within children’s reach.
d. Setting up a ‘reading corner’ and ‘writing corner’ in the classroom.
Excerpt from –
National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage-2022