Group of Children playing outside


Early Childhood Indicators of Progress: Minnesota’s Early Learning Standards


Domain:  Language and Literacy Development

The emphasis of this domain is on acquiring language and literacy for a variety of purposes. During the preschool period, children are learning to use language to communicate needs, interact socially with others, and share ideas, thoughts, and feelings. They are increasing both their spoken and written language abilities.  Included within the domain Language and Literacy Development are the components Listening, Speaking, Emergent Reading, and Emergent Writing.


Children show progress in Listening when they:

1. Understand non-verbal and verbal cues

2. Listen with understanding to stories, directions, and conversations

3. Follow directions that involve a two or three-step sequence of actions

4. Listen to and recognize different sounds in rhymes and familiar words


Children show progress in Speaking when they:

1. Communicate needs, wants, or thoughts through non-verbal gestures, actions, expressions, and/or words

2. Communicate information using home language and/or English

3. Speak clearly enough to be understood in home language and/or English

4. Use language for a variety of purposes

5. Use increasingly complex and varied vocabulary and language

6. Initiate, ask questions, and respond in conversation with others


Children show progress in Emergent Reading when they:

1. Initiate stories and respond to stories told or read aloud

2. Represent stories told or read aloud through various media or during play

3. Guess what will happen next in a story using pictures as a guide

4. Retell information from a story

5. Show beginning understanding of concepts about print

6. Recognize and name some letters of the alphabet, especially those in own name

7. Begin to associate sounds with words or letters


Children show progress in Emergent Writing when they:

1. Understand that writing is a way of communicating

2. Use scribbles, shapes, pictures, or dictation to represent thoughts or ideas

3. Engage in writing using letter-like symbols to make letters or words

4. Begin to copy or write own name


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