Emergent literacy refers to speech and language development in young children. This stage begins at birth and continues through the preschool years and is most successful with consistent parental interaction. Studies show it is the quantity and quality of the interaction children receive which develops literacy skills and good attitudes toward reading. Research also confirms language development is a key factor in academic achievement, thus increasing the importance of sound literacy skills in young children.
The process of Dialogical Reading is a technique that has transformed the acquisition of emergent literacy skills because it is a technique that transcends learning disabilities, socio-economic status and family structure due to its ease of use and minimal resource requirement. In essence Dialogic Reading is a conversation about print materials between a parent or caregiver and a child; therefore the only essential resources are time, motivation and a book. The technique is the basis of the American Library Association’s “Every Child Ready to Read @ Your Library” campaign and is used throughout the world.