Reading can sometimes be a transforming experience. This was the case for me when I first read Glenda Bissex's (1980) book, Gnys at Wrk many years ago. Although Bissex was not the originator of the notion that young children invent spellings through a process of active problem solving (the first being Read, 1975), it was my introduction to the concept of emergent writing. Bissex's case study of her son's writing development was so richly descriptive that it changed for ever the way I and many others will look at young children's writing. Now it seems commonplace to talk about the process of writing development as emergent writing. The traditional view was that learning to write was a matter of learning specific skills such as spelling high frequency words from memory, forming letters correctly, and so on. We had thought that children could not write until we had taught them the prerequisite skills. Now we understand learning to write as part of emergent literacy, which considers learning to read and write as interrelated developmental processes that begin long before formal instruction (Teale and Sulzby, 1986).
Chapman, M. L. (1996). More Than Spelling: Widening the Lens on Emergent Writing.. Reading Horizons, 36 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol36/iss4/3