International Literacy Association by Stacey Campbell 27 April 2021

Learning about being a reader is more than teaching phonics. A pilot study of shared picture book reading in early childhood education as a means to support young children in developing a broader understanding of literacy, in addition to phonics and phonological awareness, is discussed. The Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) (Pre-K) tool was administered in six early childhood contexts, revealing a range of strengths and weaknesses in classrooms observed. There was little evidence of picture book reading playing an integral part of the early childhood literacy programs. Shared reading activities were absent in some contexts. In others, books were selected on the basis of length or a phonics focus. In an era of phonics first, this article is a timely reminder that shared reading of quality children’s literature can support development of a range of reading strategies including phonics while developing a joy for reading.

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