Reading and Writing

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 771–793 | Cite as

Using environmental print to enhance emergent literacy and print motivation

  • Michelle M. Neumann
  • Michelle Hood
  • Ruth M. Ford


Given the ubiquitous and salient nature of environmental print, it has the potential to scaffold emergent literacy in young children. This randomised control study evaluated the effects of using environmental print compared to standard print (the same labels in manuscript form) in an 8-week intervention (30 min per week) to foster 3- to 4-year-old’s (N = 73) emergent literacy skills and print motivation. At the end of the intervention, the environmental print group outperformed a no intervention control group on letter sound knowledge, letter writing, environmental print and standard print reading, print concepts, and print motivation, even after controlling for receptive language abilities. Most of these gains were sustained 2 months later. The environmental print group also outperformed the standard print group on print motivation and environmental print reading at post-test, and on print motivation, environmental print and standard print reading, and letter writing at 2-month follow-up. Environmental print may be more effective than standard print in enhancing print motivation and aspects of emergent literacy in young children due to its contextual nature.


Environmental print Emergent literacy skills Print motivation Preschool intervention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle M. Neumann
    • 1
  • Michelle Hood
    • 1
  • Ruth M. Ford
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Applied PsychologyGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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