Becoming Literate

How do young children learn to read and write?

What happens as they begin to engage with formal literacy instruction?

How do they become able to read and write increasingly complex text?

Becoming Literate: The construction of inner control provides guidance to teachers for delivering powerful literacy learning experiences for all children in the early years of formal instruction, from their first days of school to the relative independence go their third year.

Successful literacy learners call upon a range of ways of working with the information in texts and become able to learn from their own efforts to read and write. Effective teachers have a sense of the changes ti expect as children begin to engage with early literacy instruction.

The key chapters include:

  • Language and literacy learning before school;
  • The transition to formal schooling and engagement with classroom programmes
  • Ways in which existing oral language competencies and knowledge of the world become linked with children’s developing awareness of print
  • The constraints and opportunities provided by different instructional approaches
  • The development of processing activities such as self-monitoring, searching and self-correcting.

Ages: 5-8 years

About the Author

Picture of Marie Clay

Marie Clay

For three decades Marie Clay has been acknowledged as a world leader in research on literacy learning, child development and the prevention of learning disorders.

Her early academic work as a child psychologist involved the observation and study of children as they acquire literacy. An outcome of this research was the development of reliable tools for assessing progress with literacy learning and these instruments have been published and are widely used around the world today.

Marie's decision to focus on struggling learners and the resulting development of the Reading Recovery early intervention changed how the education community worldwide viewed these children's chances of becoming literate.

There are many other publications by Marie Clay in the areas of writing, oral language and classroom learning.