Some helpful terms to know

Day care providers and preschool teachers might use some of the following terms when talking to you about how your child is learning to read. You will find that many of these terms are used in this booklet.

alphabetic knowledge Knowing the names and shapes of the letters of the alphabet.

big books Oversized books that allow for the sharing of print and illustrations with children.

blending Putting together individual sounds to make spoken words.

developmental spelling The use of letter-sound relationship information to attempt to write words.

emergent literacy The view that literacy learning begins at birth and is encouraged through participation with adults in meaningful reading and writing activities.

environmental print Print that is a part of everyday life, such as signs, billboards, labels, and business logos.

experimental writing Efforts by young children to experiment with writing by creating pretend and real letters and by organizing scribbles and marks on paper.

invented spelling See developmental spelling.

literacy Includes all the activities involved in speaking, listening, reading, writing, and appreciating both spoken and written language.

phonemes The smallest parts of spoken language that combine to form words. For example, the word hit is made up of three phonemes (/h/ /i/ /t/) and differs by one phoneme from the words pit, hip and hot.

phonemic awareness The ability to notice and work with the individual sounds in spoken language.

phonological awareness The understanding that spoken language is made up of individual and separate sounds. In addition to phonemes, phonological awareness activities can involve work with rhymes, words, sentences, and syllables.

pretend reading Children's attempts to "read" a book before they have learned to read. Usually children pretend read a familiar book that they have practically memorized.

print awareness Knowing about print and books and how they are used.

segmentation Taking spoken words apart sound by sound.

spoken language The language used in talking and listening; in contrast to written language, which is the language used in writing and reading.

syllable A word part that contains a vowel or, in spoken language, a vowel sound (e-vent, news-pa-per, pret-ty)

vocabulary The words we must know in order to communicate effectively. Oral vocabulary refers to words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening. Reading vocabulary refers to words we recognize or use in print.

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