New insights about letter learning

Katherine A. Dougherty Stahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The acquisition of alphabetic knowledge (letter names, letter sounds, and letter forms) is an important predictor of later literacy achievement. This article describes research findings that provide new insights about how children learn the alphabetic principle and the implications for effective and efficient instruction of the alphabet. Teachers in early childhood settings need to (a) provide explicit, systematic instruction, (b) consider cultural and programmatic variations, (c) acknowledge that not all letters need equal effort, (d) use multicomponent approaches, and (e) provide opportunities for children to transfer isolated skills to connected text. This article fully discusses each instructional implication. A sample lesson format is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalReading Teacher
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Pharmacology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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