Suggested Readings Organised By Literacy Topics
“From the child’s first, halting attempts to decipher letters, the experience of reading is not so much an end in itself as it is our best vehicle to a transformed mind, and literally and figuratively, to a changed brain.” (Wolf, 2008, p 18)
Literacy involves the ability to receive and express messages through a highly abstracted code that - on the surface - does not represent the language for which it stands. The code does not appear to represent language, but - to the literate individual - the code has the ability to take readers on amazing journeys, whether these journeys are those of the imagination or of the intellect or of both. The recommended readings should help you help others learn, express, explore, discover and challenge. Do not forget that literate individuals benefit from enabling relationships as well as access to adequate spaces, time, resources and formative experiences that aid and reinforce what it means to be literate. We hope visitors find useful readings that will help in the collective effort to teach and learn.
If you would like to suggest a reading to be added to a list, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please explore and enjoy!
Elements of Literacy Instruction
The National Reading Panel cited five pillars to reading development: phonemic awareness, phonics instruction, vocabulary development, fluency practice and comprehension. To those five, we would like to add oral language development and writing (composing) skills. (See the linked essay for further discussion of a balanced approach to instruction.)
- Oral Language Development
- Grammatical Development
- Vocabulary Development
- Print Awareness
- Phonological Awareness, Phonemic Awareness, and Word Recognition
- Word Study: Phonics, Spelling, and Morphology
- Quality Read-Alouds
- Facilitating Language Experience
- Supporting Fluency
- Guiding Reading
- Guiding Writing
- Supporting Speaking and Listening in the Classroom
- Assessment Tools
Stages of Development
In the words of Catherine Snow, “as children pass through successive stages of literacy, the reading and writing tasks change qualitatively and the instruction must change accordingly." Each of the lists below provides suggested readings that apply to a particular stage of teaching and learning. (See the linked essay and notes for further discussion of the stages of literacy development.)
Contexts of Literacy Learning
Literacy is developed across contexts. Learners benefit from the involvement of a range of players. Whilst individual classroom teachers play key roles, there is much to say about the impact of the home, broader community, and peers and mentors.
- Whole School Planning
- Organising Literacy in the Classroom
- Literacy With/In the Family
- Involving Community Volunteers as Support
- Assessing the Quality of Literacy Environments
Focusing on Specific Ages/Groups
As mentioned above, literate individuals benefit from enabling relationships as well as access to adequate spaces, time, resources and formative experiences which are suitable to their various stages of development.
- Early Years/Childhood Education
- Adolescent & Disciplinary Literacies
- English Language Learners
- Children & Youth of Refugee Backgrounds
- Adult Literacy Learners
Fostering Knowledge & Purpose
Literacy is not an end in itself. It is medium through which we receive and expresses messages, we develop knowledge, we conceptualise, we take part in communities of practice, and we develop interests and pursue goals.
Further Readings Which Exhibit a Wittgensteinian Perspective of Language, Literacy, Cultural Practices and Learning
Wolf, M. (2008). Proust and the squid: the story and science of the reading brain. Cambridge: Icon Books.