< Early Literacy: Print Awareness
By Anna Matteo
25 July 2023

Words are all around us and not just in books. Students need to know that words have meaning. Educators call this print awareness. At this early stage, surround learners with English words and sounds.

Experts say that students who cannot read in their own language may not understand some literacy ideas. They need to be taught about the functions of print.

Early Literacy: Print Awareness
Early Literacy: Print Awareness

Teaching tips for print awareness

Bring in common items with written language – both the home language and English.

Post words in your classroom.

Read often to your class.

Read books that:

Make reading aloud fun and active!

Teach the parts of a book and different types of books.

As you read to your students, teach the parts of a book. Talk about different types of books.

Talk about different part of the story.

Teach punctuation when you read with your students.

Assessment for print awareness

Early learners may not have print awareness. To assess or test for print awareness, give a student a book and ask questions. Here are some examples:

Use the tips, strategies, and assessment methods that best serve you and your learners. Change methods to fit your students' abilities and the teaching situation.

I'm Caty Weaver.

And I'm Anna Matteo.

Anna Matteo wrote this article for VOA Learning English. It is part of a larger collection of Early Literacy Materials.


Words in This Story

function –n. the special purpose that something has or work that it does

label –v. to put an object's name and information on it to show what it is

poster –n. a large sign or picture meant to gain attention

character –n. a person who appears in a story, play or movie

setting –n. where a story takes place

punctuation –n. markings that make it clear how to separate sentences and parts of sentences, so reading is easier

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