chapter  2
16 Pages

The Role of Social Context in Emergent Literacy

Introduction The beginning of learning to read does not coincide with reading instruction in the first year of formal schooling. In highly literate societies, children have already acquired knowledge on several components of reading and writing when they start school (e.g. Bus, 1986, 1991). In addition to acquiring letter knowledge, letter printing, writing and formal conventions of literacy, young children internalize the linguistic procedures which are characteristic of the written language register (Sulzby, in press a). Children familiarize themselves with the story script (Su1zby, in press b), they develop ways of thinking that enable them to transcend the immediate context (Pellegrini and GaIda, 1991) and they become aware of a particular style of language employed in written stories (Pappas and Brown, 1987; Purcell-Gates, 1988; Pappas and Pettegrew, 1991).