Exploring Connection Between Oral Language and Early Reading Essay

The first form of oral language that children learn is their dialect - Exploring Connection Between Oral Language and Early Reading Essay introduction. They learn this by the people around them. According to Celia Genishi, children’s dialect is worthy of respect since it is a very valid form of communication that greatly reflects her/his values, identity, and experiences of her/his community. Children learn the rules of their language at an early age through use even without formal instruction.

There are three major components of Oral Language (Lindfors, 1987) that goes hand-in-hand with Early Reading and essentially aides the ability to do so. First, Phonological which is the combination of sounds; second, Semantic that make up morphemes that can be combined to make words, phrases or sentences; third, Syntactic component that provides the rules to combine morphemes that make sentences. Also, there is an unofficial fourth component, Pragmatics which is the rule of language use.

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There has been multiple research and studies that identified that phonemic awareness can greatly be attributed to how well a child learns to read.

All these components are combined to convey the child’s (all of us for that matter) message and meaning. But we have to understand that a child cannot master all of these immediately. She/he has to start from one component then, two and eventually all three and even the fourth component. But all these are learned in due time and by way of guiding them.

But of course, with all these oral language learning, a child must learn the concept of comprehension which is both applicable to both concepts that we’re discussing here. Children initially learn this by observing the people around them, for example gestures, facial expressions and the way that adults speak to them (Genishi, 1988).

Children instinctively learn first their oral language so as when they reach the age of learning to read, they can easily recognize words.

Reading is the process of recognizing and understanding the words/texts on a page. Word recognition is integral for children to develop and master reading but, remember that reading the text/words does not necessarily mean that children understand the meaning of it. According to the Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading  (Rose, March 2006), children must learn the alphabetic code then apply their phonic knowledge and skills as they eventually have more stored (familiar) words that develop automaticity in their reading and this goes together with language comprehension that gradually changes in time.

Also, it is widely known that children learning to read are more visual for word identification purposes and then eventually process this information through comprehension—that can be applicable to both written and oral language.

So, when children have both the oral language and the ability of reading, by comprehension they create this mental picture of the concept to fully grasp the meaning that is being conveyed.

The study “A longitudinal analysis of the connection between oral language and early reading” by R. Froma, et. al. and the Rose Report (2006) concluded that semantic abilities predicted 2nd grade reading comprehension. And thus, suggested that semantic skills produces a positive passage for comprehension and that the relationship of oral language and early reading varies as a function of the language domain which is auditory; reading skill which is phonemic awareness and; measurement point which provides the progress of the child based on learning/reading stages administered by the teacher, which implies that reading and writing is secondary from oral language learning.


Froma, R, Speece D. & Cooper, D. (2002). A longitudinal analysis of the connection between   oral language and early reading. Washington, DC: Heldref Publications. Pp. 259-272

Genishi, C. (1988). Young Childrens Oral Language Development.  ERIC

Digest. ERIC Identifier: ED301361. Retrieved Sept. 28, 2008, from http://www.comeunity.com/disability/speech/young-children.html

Lindfors, J.W. (1987). Children’s Language and Learning. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:


Rose, J. (March 2006). Independent review of the teaching of early reading, paragraph 129,

page 39.Annesley, Nottingham: DfES Publication


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