This article  is about development of early literacy skills in readers, especially pre-readers. Read my posting slowly in order to get the information completely!
Whereas knowledge of the development of reading in school-age children has been building over the past three decades, it is only within the past 10 years that substantial efforts have been directed toward understanding the development and contribution of reading-related skills prior to school entry. This growing body of research evidence highlights the significance of the preschool period for the development of critically important early literacy skills (e.g., see Snow et al., 1998; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998). This area of study is often referred to as “emergent literacy” (Sulzby, 1989; Sulzby & Teale, 1991; Teale & Sulzby, 1986; Whitehurst & Lonigan, 1998). Emergent literacy skills are the developmental precursors to conventional reading and writing skills. Whereas traditional approaches to the study of reading often take as their starting point children’s entry into the formal school environment, an emergent literacy approach conceptualizes the acquisition of literacy as a developmental continuum with its origins early in the life of a child, rather than an all-or-none phenomenon that begins when children start school. The emergent literacy approach departs from other perspectives on reading acquisition in suggesting that there is no clear boundary between prereading and reading.
Whitehurst and Lonigan (1998) proposed that emergent and conventional literacy consisted of two interdependent sets of skills and processes, outside in and inside out. Outside-in skills represent children’s understanding of the context in which the target text occurs (e.g., knowledge of the world, semantic knowledge, and knowledge of the written context in which a particular sentence occurs). Inside-out skills represent children’s knowledge of the rules for translating the particular writing they are trying to read into meaningful sounds (e.g., letter knowledge, honological processing skills, and perhaps vocabulary). Inside-out skills reflect code-related components of reading that are mostly specific to reading, whereas outside-in skills reflect more general abilities, like language and general knowledge that support comprehension.
Whitehurst and Lonigan (1998) hypothesized that inside-out (coderelated) skills would be most important early in the sequence of learning to read, when the primary task is the development of accurate and fluent decoding skills, whereas outside-in (language) skills would become more important later in the sequence of learning to read, when the primary task in reading shifts to comprehension. Skilled reading is a complex task that requires the coordination and interaction of many skills. Although these processes may be difficult to separate in a mature, skilled reader, it is unlikely that they are well integrated in the early stages of learning to read.

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