Literacy Concerns

We know that early literacy skills positively relate to later learning skills and acquiring pre-literacy knowledge.

Building on sounds for reading and writing is crucial in the kindergarten years and continuing into year one.

Emergent Reading/Phonological Awareness

  • Difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling
  • Confuses similar sounding words (hat/fat)
  • Doesn’t recognize rhyming words
  • Cannot make rhyming word
  • Has poor sound/letter identification abilities (e.g., doesn’t know what sounds letter /c/ makes)

Has trouble breaking words into:

  • Syllables (initial, middle, final)
  • Sounds (initial, middle, final)
  • Difficulty matching a letter with its correct sound
  • Difficulty putting letters together to spell words and/or sounding out words


Middle Kids

In the classroom they may have difficulties with:

  • Blending sounds to create words (e.g., what word do these sounds /r/, /a/ /k/ /u/ /n/ make?)
  • Recognising previously learned sight words
  • Manipulating sounds in words (if you replace /k/ in cat with a /b/ what word will you make?)
  • Poor vowel recognition (e.g., has trouble identifying what sounds different vowels make in sentences)
  • Reading quickly without pausing at punctuation marks (e.g., commas, periods, etc)
  • An inability to memorise songs rhyme lyrics
  • Comprehending what is read or remembering new vocabulary
  • General inefficiency in communication whether it be verbal or written
  • Resistance to writing and reading
  • Falling behind the level of same age peers


SkillsKindergarten TargetsYear One Targets
ReadingPre-literacy Skills
Between 5-6yrs we really want to see skills in:
• Syllable segmentation (Cat-er-pil-lar),
• Rhyme awareness, (boat, coat, moat)
• Alliteration awareness (adam apple)
• Phoneme isolation (B- b)
Phoneme segmentation ( c-a-t)
(Dodd & Gillon, 2001)
• Ability to sound out single letters and letter combinations. (sh, th, ch, wh, ng, vowels)
Literacy Skills
• Competency blending sounds to create words (e.g., what word do these sounds /r/, /a/ /k/ /u/ /n/ make?)
• Recognising previously learned sight words
• Manipulating sounds in words
• Vowel recognition (e.g. what sounds different vowels make in sentences)
• Reads without monotone fashion
• Reads with pausing at punctuation marks
• Early phoneme recognition of vowel and letter combinations (ch, kn, ph, ir, ur, oo, ea, or)
• Ability to recognise appropriate irregular words, non-word patterns and regular word patterns.
Spelling• Single word spelling for early phonic patterns and transfer of words into written work.
• Single sounds for correlation to spelling pattern (I,e, ir, ur er/ ay, ai/ oy oi
• Spelling methods using patterns and sequences. (i.e. CVC, CCVC, CVCC) C= Consonant, V = vowel
• Writing sound-letter correspondences for age appropriate targets within words
• Structures of more spelling patterns
• Ability to use early spelling rules
• Knowledge of writing phonic based patterns vs high frequency words.
Writing• What is a sentence?
• How do we form ideas?
• Constructing sentences with nouns, verbs and adjectives
• Using both spelling patterns and common words to create ideas.
• Ways to use writing strategies (mind map, brainstorming, word banks) to kick-start writing
• Encourage low resistance to writing
• Constructing sentences with simple linking words
• Showing ways for grammar checks to edit work

Young People

They may demonstrate:

  • More grammatical errors than peers
  • Messy and incomplete writing, with many “cross outs” and erasures
  • Immature vocabulary and problems learning new words.
  • Poor written language when formulating essays and projects
  • Difficulty with text types such as narrative, persuasive, information and report writing.
  • Differences between student and their same age peers.
  • Uneven use of spacing between letters and words, and has trouble staying “on the line”
  • Inaccurately copying information (e.g., confuses similar-looking letters and numbers)
  • Poor spelling and inconsistently (e.g., the same word appears differently other places in the same document)
  • Difficulty proofreading and self-correcting work