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Environmental Print Awareness in Young Children

Danielle Z. Kassow, Ph.D.

Print is omnipresent in literate societies. Young children begin taking notice of and interacting with print in their environment and are able to identify or “read” the familiar print around them beginning at an early age. Questions pertaining to whether or not children are actually reading when they “read” environmental print were the focus of this research summary.

Results show that when children “read” environmental print they are actually recognizing the cues around the print, not the print itself. Further, research has not yet been able to establish a relationship between environmental print awareness and later literacy skills. The value of recognizing environmental print is that children are beginning to understand that print means something and are attempting to make sense of the world around them. Implications for parents and other caregivers are discussed.

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