George Manolitsis, Emergent literacy in early childhood education: New issues and educational implications, Προσχολική & Σχολική Εκπαίδευση, 4|2016, 3-34


The present study aims to describe a theoretical perspective of emergent literacy, based on a detailed literature review of previous theoretical models, and on contemporary research findings on the structure of emergent literacy. A triangular model is suggested to explain the construct of emergent literacy. A prominent role is given to the continuous interaction of various contextual experiences with the components of emergent literacy. The construct of emergent literacy consists of three major components which are considered critical for literacy acquisition. These major components are the knowledge of literacy concepts, literacy skills and literacy behaviours. The knowledge components include concepts about print and letter knowledge; the literacy skills include oral language (vocabulary, listening comprehension, and narrative skills) and metalinguistic (phonological, syntactic and morphological awareness) skills; literacy behaviour includes emergent reading and emergent writing. According to this triangular model, the components of literacy knowledge and literacy skills are intercorrelated, while both components influence the emergence of literacy behaviours such as emergent reading and writing. However, beyond the direct links of each major component to each other, there are also indirect links among them through the effects of the experiences children get from the contexts they live in. These experiences originate from home and school contexts. Educational implications for optimal literacy acquisition from an early age are discussed based on the suggestions of this triangular model.

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