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ERIC Number: ED447410
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Jun-15
Pages: 45
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Emergent Literacy: A Polyphony of Perspectives. CIERA Report.
Yaden, David B., Jr.; Rowe, Deborah W.; MacGillivray, Laurie
This paper reviews current developments in the field of emergent literacy (the study of reading and writing behaviors that develop into conventional literacy). The review includes studies that look at preschoolers' emerging literacy in homes, day-care environments, and kindergartens and that focus on children's development of literacy knowledge and processes through holistic literacy events (storybook reading, play, etc.). Findings suggest the need for a theoretical model to test the complex cognitive, social, and cultural explanations for emergent literacy. There is a need to explain individual differences, to design early reading instruction, and to decide what, when, and whether to provide it. In order to develop and expand research and knowledge about emerging literacy, the paper recommends defining literacy more broadly to include linguistic and nonlinguistic communication. It also recommends changes in research methodology: (1) researchers can no longer generalize findings to all students but must examine a wider range of social, political, economic, and cultural understandings of literacy; and (2) researchers must move away from concepts like high vs. low and discover the strengths, factors of resilience, and ways in which students from underrepresented populations can be successful in school. Contains approximately 200 references (Author/RS)
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259. Tel: 734-647-6940; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, Ann Arbor.