This chapter focuses on the development of early reading, a topic that has garnered considerable attention in the research literature over the past decade for both hearing and deaf early literacy learners. Drawing on the 2008 meta-analytic findings of the National Early Literacy Panel, the chapter provides an in-depth discussion of the essential skills and abilities (i.e. phonological sensitivity, letter and alphabet knowledge, phonemic decoding) that strongly predict later conventional reading achievement. While these precursor skills fall primarily within the code-related domain, the chapter also explores the reciprocity of language-related abilities and the impact of language delays and deficits on the development of early reading. Descriptions of effective pedagogical practices and strategies to differentiate instruction for young deaf literacy learners are also discussed.
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