Summary

Reading and writing are complex skills, and each child has a unique learning pattern and her own timing in acquiring the skills necessary to become a reader and writer. The age a child learns to read depends on the individual's background of literature and print. If given exposure to appropriate literacy experiences and good teaching during early childhood, most children will learn to read at age six or seven. A few children will learn to read at four, some at five, and others will need intensive individual support to learn to read at eight or nine. Literacy experiences that help a child learn to read are daily exposure to print, vocabulary development, book retellings, and an understanding of print concepts.

See also: LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Bibliography

Griffith, Priscilla, and Mary Olson. "Phonemic Awareness Helps Beginning Readers Break the Code.'' International Reading Association 45 (1992):516-523.

''Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Your Children. A Joint Position Statement of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).'' Reading Teacher 52 (1998):192-216.

Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF). Available from http:// www.rif.org/home.html; INTERNET.

Victoria L. Davids

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