ERIC Number: ED333459
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
An Analysis of the History of Writing and Young Children's Literacy Acquisition. Literacy Research Report No. 6.
Barnhart, June E.
There are descriptive similarities on a global level between the history of writing and the development of written language in the young child. Examination of the specific developmental patterns of data of these two phenomena reveals some common elements and some discrepancies between these two patterns. The history of orthography as well as research concerning children's developing knowledge of written language reveals that both phenomena in general proceed toward an understanding of the alphabetic principle. However, the order in which the knowledge and discovery occurs in the child as well as just what knowledge becomes understood during the progression toward the conventional, alphabetic adult model does not follow a strict one-to-one recapitulation model or explanation. To understand the cognitive and linguistic processes involved in written language both at the individual and at the historical level, the linguistic, cognitive, and cultural contexts in which that processing occurs must be examined. Similarly, with regard to the development of written language in the young child, it appears that the presence of environmental print is essential since written language is fundamentally cultural and social in nature. A fruitful source of information in analyzing the obstacles to be overcome in becoming literate lies in the search for similarity at the historical as well as the individual level. (Thirty-eight references are attached.) (RS)
Descriptors: Beginning Writing, Cognitive Processes, Educational History, Elementary Education, Emergent Literacy, Language Acquisition, Language Styles, Written Language, Young Children
Northern Illinois University, The Reading Clinic, 119 Graham DeKalb, IL 60115 ($3.50 postage included).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Northern Illinois Univ., DeKalb. Curriculum and Instruction Reading Clinic.