Why Letter Knowledge is Important

The ability to identify the letters of the alphabet by name is one of the best predictors of how readily a child will learn to read.  (Treiman, Kessler, & Pollo, 2006)


Numerous studies have proven that a child’s knowledge of letters is a strong predictor of his/her success in learning to read.  (Bond & Dykstra, 1967; Share, Jorm, McClean & Matthew, 1987; Adams, 1990)


Among the reading readiness skills that are traditionally evaluated, the one that appears to be the strongest predictor of reading success on its own is letter identification.  (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998)


Beginning readers cannot become skilled readers if they do not know and understand the alphabet.  (Ehri, 2003)


Children who begin school able to quickly and accurately identify and articulate the letters of the alphabet, have an advantage in learning to read. (Chard & Osborn, 1999)


Research reveals that letter names may be a precursor to or facilitate phonemic awareness. (Johnston, Anderson & Holligan, 1996; Stahl & Murray, 1994; Carroll, 2004)


Reading scores in tenth grade can be predicted with surprising accuracy based on a child’s knowledge of the alphabet in kindergarten.  (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2003)


Complete letter knowledge consists of more than just identifying the letters, however.  In order to master each letter, a child needs to demonstrate the following:


  • Letter name knowledge


  • Letter shape recognition


  • Letter sound knowledge


  • Ability to print the letter


  • Rapid letter naming


There are many ways to help your child attain letter knowledge.  Reciting and learning Alphabet Anatomy’s letter rhymes provides an easy and fun way for your child to master each of the five components listed above.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.