Literacy refers to the ability to read and write so as to function and contribute to society. Literacy is a critical skill that is tied to academic achievement as well as future social and economic advancement.
Young children begin to develop oral language skills (i.e., speaking and listening) at a very young age. Gradually, through the development of oral language skills, children become ready to learn how to read and write. However, research has indicated that children who present with weak oral language abilities are more likely to experience difficulty developing literacy skills than their typically developing peers.
Essential components to literacy development include:
- Oral Language – Speaking and listening skills.
- Phonological Awareness – Awareness that words are made up of sounds.
- Phonics – Association of letters and the corresponding sounds they represent.
- Word Identification – Includes identification of sight/high-frequency words.
- Vocabulary – Body of words used in a particular language.
- Comprehension – Understanding what we read.
- Fluency – Ability to read text accurately and quickly.
- Automaticity – Reading accurately and quickly without conscious thought.