Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Consumer Buying Behavior And Decision Making

Consumer Buying Behavior And Decision Making Recent research discovered that consumers are just likely to make purchase and to be influenced not only by relatives and peers, by endorsers but also by attitudes, situations and emotion (Olsen et al., 2007). The process of consumer decision making can be viewed as three well defined stages namely the Input, the Process and the Output as shown below (Schiffman, 2005). The Input Stage influences the individuals recognition of a product need and consists of two main sources of information which is the firms marketing efforts in term of its price, promotion, location of the retail outlets and the second source is the external sociological influences on the consumer which includes family, friends, neighbors, social class amongst others. The Process stage emphasizes on the way consumers make their decisions. The psychological factors built-in each individual like motivation, perception, learning, personality and attitudes which affect the way external elements from input stage affects the consumers recognition of a need, pre-purchase search for information and evaluation of alternatives. The output stage comprises of two related post-decision activities namely the purchase behaviour and post-purchase evaluation. A low-cost and non-durable product may be influenced by the manufacturers coupon and may actually be a trial purchase. The consumer evaluates the product through direct use. For a relatively durable product such as a laptop, the consumer decision-making model is examined in greater depth (Schiffman, 2005). 2.1 Factors influencing Consumer Buying decision 2.11 Cultural Factors In a sense, culture is a societys personality (Wayne, 2008). According to Hawkins (2009), culture is defined as the sum of total learned belief, values and customers that serve to direct the consumer behavior of members of a particular society. Individual are brought up to follow the beliefs, values and customs of their society and to avoid behavior that is considered as taboo. (Graham, 2009). Overall societies are segmented into subcultures. The sub-cultural divisions are based on nationality, religion, geographic locality, race, age and sex. 2.12 Social Factors A reference groups are groups that serves as frames of reference for individuals in their purchase or consumption decisions. Indirect reference group consist of groups with whom a person does not have direct face to face contact, such as movie stars, TV personalities, sports heroes or even interesting-looking people on the street (Graham, 2009). An individual who has little or no experience with a durable product is more likely to seek out the advice or example of others (Solomon et al., 2009). When consumers are concerned with obtaining accurate information about the performance or quality of a product or service, they are likely to be persuaded by those whom they consider trustworthy and knowledgeable (Hoyer et al., 2007). Appeals by celebrities and other reference group are used very effectively to communicate with their market. For many consumers, their family is their primary reference group for many attitudes and behavior. The members of a family assume specific roles in their everyday functioning, such roles or tasks extend to realm of consumer purchase decisions. 2.13 Psychological Factors Psychological factors arousing within individuals relatively drive general behavior of consumers and thus affect their behavior. The main influences on consumer behavior are personality and self-concept, motivation, learning and perception (Sorensen, 2009). 2.14 Individual Factors Demographic variables are individual characteristics which consist of occupation, sex, income, origin, ethnic, race and age (Kanuk,1999). 2.2 Organizational Buying Behavior The decision making process by which formal organizations confirm the need for products and services to be purchased, consider and select among alternative suppliers and brands (Glavee, 2009). (Hutt, 2009), as an outcome of the vast area of prior research, proceeded the characterization of the industrial buying behavior divided into three major aspects: The Buying Process, The buying Centre and Factors influencing the buying centre. As Kelly (2007), the buygrid model is a conceptual model, which describes the different combinations of buying phases and buying situations. It incorporates three types of buying situations: (1) the new task, (2) the straight re-buy, and (3) the modified re-buy, combined with eight phases in the buying decision process. The model serves as an easy framework for visualizing the otherwise complex business buying process and enables the vendor to identify the critical phases and situation requiring specific types of information. 2.3 The Buying Centre As Hutt (2009) mentioned, companies do not buy, people do. It is of utmost importance to have a concrete knowledge about those involved in the buying decision making process of the goods or services that a vendor aim to sell. It has been indicated that many individuals are pertained in the buying process of industrial goods. 2.4 Roles of the Buying Centre members Buyers are known to assume some common roles in a buying process (Wind, 1967). These roles are classified into six groups which are shown below. Initiator is the one or group of individuals who become aware of a company problem and recognize that the problem can be solved via acquisition of a product or service. The influencers are those who have a say in whether a product or service is bought or not. The more critical a purchase is to companys business, the higher the number of influencers. Gatekeepers usually act as problem or product experts. They have information about a range of vendor offerings. Other buying centre members therefore rely on their information for their assessment of prospective vendors offerings. Thus, by controlling information, and, by having access to decision makers in the firm, the gatekeepers largely determine which vendors get the chance to sell. Deciders are those who make the actual purchase decision. For instance, they say yes or no to what vendors offer. The buyer is one who makes arrangements for the delivery of the goods. He is also often directly involved in negotiating the conditions under which the transactions will be made. Users are those who usually make use of the products in normal working process. 2.5 Factors influencing the buying process and the buying centre Different attributable influences that affect the buying process and the buying centre previously addressed ( Nielson, 2008) : Aspects influencing the buying process Brief description Organizational Technology, goal, task, actors, structure. Interpersonal Formal authority, persuasiveness Personal Status, politics, ethics. Environmental Physical, economic, technological, legal, political and cultural. 2.6 WOM in Consumer Environment Word of mouth is about disseminating information by verbal communication, particularly references including general information in an informal or person-to-person approach. Word of Mouth is usually regarded as a verbal communication, although web dialogue, such as, message boards, emails and blogs (Olson et al., 2010). 2.7 WOM influencing consumer buying behavior WOM is considered to be of utmost importance in shaping consumers attitudes and behaviors. Silverman (2011), studied the diffusion of technology products and concluded that the pattern of ownership may be justified by the presence of an effective network consisting of neighbours exchanging product information. Songe (2006) pointed out that WOM is the most essential source of influence in the purchase of technology and household goods. It is three times effective as radio advertising, newspapers and magazines. 2.8 Characteristics of WOM WOM can be seen as positive as well as negative (Jantsh, 2010). Negative WOM arose when consumers gather information on lack of service, high prices or impolite sales personnel. PWOM is a reference to the passing of positive information. Scharffer (1998) indicated that dissatisfied customers made complain twice than when they are satisfied. Goodman (2009) justified that the services recovery programmes, service guarantees and complaints process affect the direction of WOM. WOM is considered to be an unlimited activity to consumers. The WOM activity can be perceived as a function where the individuals with whom the organization and its employees come into contact like the customers, suppliers, competitors, the general public, or other stakeholders (Misner, 1999). Throughout a decision making process, WOM may be employed at different stages. WOM can be used before or after a purchase. The use of WOM in a pre-purchase stage is referred to as input WOM and Output WOM is issued after the purchase (Assael, 1997). The effectiveness of WOM is far from being unnoticed. Some organizations regard customer WOM as one of the most strong marketing tool (Wilson, 1994). According to Scharffer (1998), marketers attempt to directly influence opinion leaders, incite WOM communication in advertising or depict communications form opinion leaders. 2.9 The Nature of WOM Nail (2002), distinguished three main types of WOM communications in an evaluation on personal influence in buying technology products namely product information, private experience and recommendation. Product information is informing about the product such as benefits of the products. Private experience includes explanations about reasons for purchasing the product. Recommendation refers to point of views about the product. These categorization implies that WOM attends to inform and to influence. Product news, for example, is efficient in bringing awareness about a product and its features. Listening about the experiences of the product from a friend help the consumer in evaluating the absolute merits of one brand or another. Eventually through the perceptions of others, advice is essential in making the purchase decision stage (Solomon et al., 2009). 2.10 Opinion leaders and followers According to Rosen (2002), mass media messages are caught and disseminated by opinion leaders. He also pointed out that mediated communication are circulated to opinion leaders who disseminate it through WOM to their peers. This in turn exert some influences. According to his theory, opinion leaders are present in all groupings of society and may be persuasive on specific topic (Songe, 2006). Lois (2007), could not differentiate between followers and opinion leaders. In his research, he inclined to talk of influencers rather than opinion leaders. He pointed out that influencers are active information searcher, more dependent and more innovative. The follower is active and may ask for information as well as considering opinions of others Those who diffuse information are also likely to receive it which denote that opinion leaders are also followers and vice versa. Wilson (1994) has certified that there is a dominance of personal influence in decision making. In his study, Hutt (2009) added that people who received positive WOM about a new product were more likely to purchase it rather than those who received negative WOM. The powerful effect of WOM is linked to various factors. There are situations where consumers referrals are perceived as being more rational and reliable than commercial sources of information (Rosen, 2002). Dialogues with either friends or relatives tend to be friendly and can help for trying out certain behaviours. Potential consumers of a particular product can acquire some of the product experience by searching for someone who has acquired recent experience with the product (Silverman, 2011). 2.11 Importance of WOM in service sector Good service is essential to promote positive WOM. Consumers depend largely on personal communication with other customers since their experiences are regarded as a trial (Goodman, 2010). Wilson (1994), in turn found that services consumers choose to search for reference from relative and peers rather than promotional sources. Customers are skeptical. They do not believe anymore about what they see or hear. (Kelly, 2007). According to Finch (2003), it is considerable when reference groups are likely to influence especially when the customer is dealing with a decision process and the purchase of the product involve certain risk. Proctor (1995) noted the individuals who have ongoing involvement are more prone to be opinion leaders. Consumers would rather seek information from friends and family if risk is likely to emerge when making a purchase (Scharffer, 1998). 2.12 Motives for engaging in WOM communication Finch (2003), concluded that there are a multitude of reasons for engaging in WOM communication. Sernovitz (2009), supported with evidence that those who disseminate information are certainly those who are experiencing the product. The involvement in the product-related decision is an essential component in personal communications. According to Songe (2006), WOM communication is the basic interest in the product category concerning ongoing involvement. Individuals who have an enduring interest in a product category experience satisfaction in discussing about it (Wilson, 1994). Additionally, Rosem (2002), pointed out that WOM communication is usually introduced to remove any doubt about product choice. According the theory of Wilson (1994), a consumer may try to decrease discomfort by explaining the positive aspects of a recently purchased product to peers and family. Furthermore, purchasing the similar product by a friend or relative proves the original judgment of the consumer (Skubal, 2002). Discussing about the product may likely to drive people to personal satisfaction (Songe, 2006). 2.13 Post-Purchase Decision-Making Negative WOM is known to be a framework of customer complaining behaviour. Harris (2008) suggested that consumers can either express their dissatisfaction or end up the relationship when confronting with unmet expectations. Furthermore, Burg (2005) classified three main reactions to dissatisfaction namely switching to another brands or substitute, making a complaint to the retailer or personnel and finally informing others about the unsatisfactory product or service. Concerning minor dissatisfaction consumers are not likely to complain nor do they spread negative WOM (Finch, 2003). When the level of dissatisfaction is important, consumers are more likely to complain (Kelly, 2007). Goodman (2009), referred that after purchases, consumers are likely to engage in a post-purchase evaluation of the product. If the consumer is not satisfied, psychological discomfort may occur. 2.14 Pre-Purchase DM According to Scharffer (1998), WOM is seen as a process through which consumers convey both informational influence in evaluation of the product and the purchase intention of fellow consumers. This type of information can thus be expressed according to the choice of the referral source or the task of selecting the product (Lees, 2007). 2.15 WOM has a powerful influence on organizational DM WOMC is thus considered as a growing necessity in B2B markets. According to Neilsen (2000) , WOM consists of informal communications directed by consumers at other consumers about ownership or characteristics of particular goods or services and or their sellers. WOM is perceived as an exit outcome to dissatisfaction with the product quality it can be perceived a behavioral manifestation of a latent loyalty towards the supplier or the brand (Canning, 2007). The WOM system is referred to a network where personal, verbal, face to face communication take place. It is also defined as the attribute of the information dealt and how these information would determine the role of the participants (Balter et al., 2009). 2.16 Provision of WOM While in any prevailing WOM circumstances, recommendations, opinions, information are likely to succeed in both ways. Emotions influence how decisions are formulated. In B2B purchase, the buyer does not encounter the overall benefit of the solution and may not be compensated for making a good purchase, but a bad purchase can damage the reputation and job security of the buyer. The study of Prahalad (2004) revealed that organizational buying decisions are normally influence fear. Organizational buyers tend to reduce fear by reducing risk. Personal risk is mostly hidden from the rational process and is considered as an important factor in B2B buying. Like in quality judgments, satisfaction can result to positive WOM through an exit, voice and loyalty logic argument (Nielson, 2002). To such a degree that satisfaction has affective bases, the statement specified earlier about the influence to WOM route has validity as well (Robins, 2008). The involvement with a product certainly provides a person with the motivation and ability to come up with product-related conversations with others. Like Jantsch (2010), observed an individuals frequent engagement with a product or service brings out to overflowing thoughts and emotions that can easily recalled in WOM experiences, frequently willfully so, in order to clear out the tension or the experience. Dissatisfaction with a product presumed to be essential by the individual is particularly filled with WOM potential (Balter et al. 2009). Researchers have been able to separate several product-related factors that reduce the occurrence and extent of WOM activity. Price awareness for product, for one, has been encountered to correspond remarkably with WOM transmission. Preceding a dissatisfactory experience, individuals have demonstrated to participate in more or less WOM conversations depending on the seriousness and controllability and composure of the problem (Bowman, 2009), as well as the perceived likelihood of a favorable redress (Wilson, 2006). Positive outcomes concerning complaint handling and redress, like the diffusive and synergetic justice of the redress orientation and the convenience of recovery, can lead positive consequences for a provider as individuals have the tendency to respond to positive things about the provider (Balter et al., 2009). 2.17 Strategies for managing risks Rosen (2009) introduced three strategies for managing risk namely: Approved supplier list. B2B buyers are prone to select companies they already know. If a member from the buying centre has pre-approved a supplier, the risk is reduced even if it is not the right solution. Word of mouth for example colleagues and friends. User communities are one of the main sources of information for researching B2B purchases. A recommendation from a credible source tend to reduce risk. Word of mouth from existing suppliers. A good representative build good relationship with their suppliers to create a credible source for referrals. 2.18 Buyers seek personal recommendation The most influential channels across decision making process were blogs, word of mouth, websites, trade journals and other form of media. According to Nail (2002), organizational buyers valued WOM communication which provide a personal recommendation. 2.19 The Buying Process Bowman (2009) made the conclusion that B2B buying is a decision process driven by the emotions of the people involved. Business buyers are mostly motivated to reduce personal risk of making mistakes. The decision making process in the B2B environment is not an easy task. Generally doers are those making the purchase of the product or service. The buyer has the entire responsibility for reducing corporate risk. The presence of a broad chain of gatekeepers in organizations means determine the level of complexity in decision-making process in B2B environment. In the B2B environment, decision making process is much more puzzling where there is no specific decision-maker across organizations (Nail, 2002). Graham (2009) implied that in an organization there is a gatekeeper who is allowed to share ideas and information to the members in the buying centre. Both the doers and the buyers need to search for information in the buying process. B2B website should take into consideration the information needs of those who search the Internet. Person to person meetings are crucial to reach the emotional needs of prospects. Building credible relationship through person to person meetings with both doers and buyers is necessary in the complex decision making process. Analytical plan offer recommendations about which options and information to consider or to reject. This help the organization to facilitate decisions to their relevant core. 2.20 The impact of Social Media Robins (2008) declared that online channel, precisely the social media occupied an essential role in how research is proceeded and finally the decision on business purchases in the future. Social media like Website, Blogs or Facebook are also considered to be influential. Inactive channels like the press advertising are equally influential. Robins (2008) pointed out that decision-makers need to search social media channels for information to their actions. Colleagues and peers add value to decision and thus minimizing risks (Siguardarson, 2000). Factors like the ability to learn from experiences of others, the ability to access to information and the ability to communicate with others. According to the study of Robins (2008), B2B buyers refer to trade journals as well as professional online media for B2B decision making. The study also regards word of mouth and personal reference from professional colleagues or peers which is considered as the most influencing source in buying decisions. According to the study of Fader (2010), there is a noticeable change in the influence of supplier websites at the beginning of the purchasing process. He further characterized websites as very influential. Personal recommendation is clearly approved as the most valuable factor in B2B purchasing decisions. Channel like Trade journals, Website, Blogs and Facebook are seen as large influencers concerning the provision of information to help buyers identify potential suppliers. Buyers and deciders are personally involved in the final decision making process. The members in the buying centre regularly used word of mouth and supplier websites as sources of information (Bowman, 2009). Mass media is a mean of reaching directly opinion leader, follower or the gatekeeper (Jantsch, 2010). According to Santeller (2010), the gatekeeper is considered as a source of information to both opinion leaders and followers. The research of Hoyer et al. (2006) showed that diffusion of social of social media is increasing constantly. According to the study of Sorensen (2009), some B2B buyers prefer to use of social media channels while others refer more to traditional information channels. He further observed that B2B buyer opted for issue-based information from supplier websites as a main source of information at the beginning of the buying process. Furthermore the level of influence are reduced towards later stages.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Malcolm X Essay -- Civil Rights African American Essays

Malcolm X   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Malcolm X was a man of strong words and beliefs. Some say that he was a man of hate and violence. Some also say that he was a smart man of hope and peace. Malcolm X‘s influence on people was felt more than it was alive rather than dead. Malcolm X was a major contributor to the black societies across the world. He fought for what he believed in and educated the young. Though his early life was full of up’s and downs he managed to, what some would say, â€Å"turn his life around†. In doing this he managed to gain the upper hand of the African American culture by giving them the hope that one day they would if not own be apart of, what he called, â€Å"white mans society†.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska. Malcolm’s father was murdered by a white supremacists group while in Lancing, Michigan. His mother was declared legally insane and committed to the state mental hospital. Because of that Malcolm X had no parental guidance in his young adult life. Malcolm X also dropped out of school also after the murder of his father, and from then on Malcolm turned to the streets for guidance. On the street he was he known as a hustler. He earned money by stealing and selling it back to the community or by conning others in buying bad products from him. On the streets, he was also known as Detroit Red. When Malcolm was Twenty, Malcolm X was sentenced to eight to ten years in prison. He was sentenced to prison because of breaking and entering, carrying firearms, and Larceny.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  In Prison he was given the nick name Satan because of his foul mouth. While in prison Malcolm taught his self to read. So while incarcerated he studied the N.O.I which stands for the nation of Islam. He first learned about the Nation of Islam from letters, from his brother Reginald, in Jail he became an ordinary reader to the other prisoners about the Nation of Islam. During his jail time he received contact with the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad. As their verbal contact continued, they began to write each other daily.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Malcolm was released from jail in 1952. When he left jail he went to Chicago to meet Elijah Muhammad. There in Chicago he changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm â€Å"X†. Malcolm said that the â€Å"X† meant to tell the non-appreciation of his slave name. Also it was to symbolize the missing of an appropriate Muslim n... ...iving, people still hold on to the words that he spoke when he believed that minority’s deserved something better than equality. He began to see and realize that whites are not devils and in order for the world to grow and for blacks to prosper everyone must come together. Malcolm’s life and murder enraged a whole community to stand up and fight. He gave people faith, hope, and courage that one day things would get better. Yes he taught violence and he was willing to do anything for his people, to see them live a great life. But it was just for that reason so that people could see that everyone had a right to live a life that in that time the white man lived. He was seen as a racist, but all people had a problem with a person from a different color so he was just as racist as the next man. He finally realized that being together was the only way to get through and prosper, but in the days of him speaking this truth, he was murdered. He was never given the chance to become something like Dr. Martin L. King and preach about being as one, because of the fear that people had of him. He was changing once again like he did many times in his life, only this time his time ran short.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Early Childhood Literacy Proposal Essay

Abstract Research on early childhood literacy pinpoints the early childhood years as the foundational base period for developing the language and literacy skills that are fundamental to a young child’s long term developmental success in reading and writing. This study places theoretical attention on the essential components of literacy that promote and predict the essential emergent literacy development of a child. This efficacious aspect of learning acquisition is critically pertinent for the school readiness of a child in being well read. Findings support and highlight how the acquiring of skills in components of literacy such as phonological awareness, vocabulary and language knowledge, alphabet and sound recognition, print and text comprehension as well as the use of sound instructional practices and strategies among teachers will promote the optimal level of success in early literacy and beyond. Introduction Early childhood literacy is an emphatic, essential, and extensive branch of education that seeks to equip young children with the optimal skills that will cause them to emerge in reading and writing. These foundational skills are critical and predictive of one’s diagnosis of success within these parameters. Research notes that depending on where they start, their experiences in the home, and the curriculum being used in their classroom, many children will leave preschool with early literacy skills that put them on a trajectory to transition successfully to learning to read (Lonigan, Allan, & Lerner, 2011). To signify, the essence of these skills is manifested early in one’s life and is the predecessor of one’s future achievement in literacy. The developmental stage for the actual acquiring of these precursor skills begins in infancy and extends to the primary years. However, it is important to note that for the purpose of this study, early literacy skills will be based on those skills that occur at the preschool ages of 3-4. Then too, within this digest, it is important to note that effective preschool programs are the panels of early education that promote, support, and contribute to the child’s future reading and writing readiness. These factors characterize the role of early childhood programs in promoting children’s early literacy development for later achievement in reading. The acquisition of children’s reading skills was once thought to originate with the start of reading instruction in elementary school, but research now supports the idea that learning to read is a continuous developmental process that emerges early in life (Wilson & Longman, 2009). For this purpose, a study has been proposed to increase the focus on the early years of education as the precursor for later success in literacy and to discover those early literacy skills that foster success in literacy and inform of the assessments and strategies that are the best practices for providing this evidence. The following research question and hypotheses were made declarative or stated as a guide for this proposal: Research question: Does the acquisition of early literacy skills foster future success in literacy? Hypotheses: The acquisition of early literacy skills fosters future success in literacy. Subsequent Hypotheses: 1) Literacy rich environments or settings contribute to a child’s future success in reading. 2) Effective teaching strategies support a child’s development of literacy. These modes and mechanisms form the basis for providing children with an effective curriculum, strategies, techniques, and activities that will empower their knowledge and give them a sound foundation of emergent literacy. The very term emergent literacy is a relatively new one that evolved in response to evidence that literacy development occurs along a continuum that begins long before children actually start formal schooling and long before they acquire conventional literacy skills such as decoding, oral reading, reading comprehension, spelling and writing (Invernizzi, Landrum, Teichman, & Townsend, 2010). To note, the learning phase of literacy for children begins at birth and extends to the preschool phase and beyond. Infants begin to grasp books and take them to caregivers of parents to read. Around the age of two, children begin to recognize favorite books by cover and can memorize and restate some of the words. Between the ages of three and four, children are able to picture read and retell stories as well as manipulate letters and print. At the ages of five and six, children then begin to understand that words have meaning. The emergent skills and abilities that are strong predictors of future progression and succession in later reading and writing outcomes include the following: 1) Phonological Sensitivity- Children begin to hear and understand various sounds and patterns of spoken language. More specifically, these skills begin with listening to sounds and then noticing and discriminating rhyme and alliteration. Afterwards children begin to determine syllables in words by examining onset and rime. Phonological awareness skills generally graduate to advanced phonemic awareness skills and later lay the foundation for the gaining of phonics. They are further progressed and promoted as children sing songs; hear stories, and finger plays or rhymes (Heroman & Jones, 2010). Research has found phonological awareness skills in preschool to be one of the most robust predictors of early reading success in a child’s first few years of formal schooling† (Callaghan & Madelaine, 2012). 2) Print Knowledge- Children’s ability to organize and convey meaning of words through sounds, words, or sentences. The conventions of print that are modeled by teachers and learned by children and that eventually help to bring awareness to the functions of print include providing print rich environments, interacting during story times, watching adults write and read books. 3) Alphabet Knowledge-Children begin to recognize letters and their sounds to printed letters. A child’s knowledge of the alphabet is the single best predictor of first-year reading success (Elliot & Olliff, 2008). Children who are exposed to alphabetic activities and experiences such as reading books that display the alphabet, manipulating magnetic or textured alphabets, playing games that reference the alphabet, as well as singing and saying the alphabet have increased letter knowledge that will eventually promote reading and writing achievement. It was found that knowledge of letter names prior to kindergarten was predictive of reading ability in fifth and tenth grade (Wilson & Lonigan, 2008). 4) Comprehension-Children make meaning of text by being able to process stories they have heard read aloud. They are also provided with language rich activities, directions, and instructions as a way to understand and communicate knowledge. Teachers can promote listening and story comprehension skills by doing the following: * Talk with children frequently throughout the day * Use language that is easy for children to understand * Help children understand language by rephrasing it when necessary * Play listening games * Help children learn to follow and give directions * Read aloud to small groups of children * Prepare children for a reading by taking a â€Å"picture walk† * Show children the pictures as you read. * When reading to children, encourage them to ask questions, make predictions, talk about the story, and connect new ideas with what they already know * Facilitate story retellings (Heroman & Jones, 2010). Review of Related Literature A review of the research literature reveals how early childhood literacy and learning governs the academic research among young children. The use of early literacy assessments as evidence of directly measuring student’s knowledge is examined as the way to understand children’s development in literacy and ascertaining what counts as student learning. The early literacy instruction take the form of isolated activities and skills that could be easily documented, measured, quantified or qualified as the condition for evaluating the prerequisite skills for eventual success in formal reading and writing. Children are assessed on how many alphabets they know; how many sight words they can recognize; how they distinguish individual sounds or phonemes in spoken language; how they make connections between letters and sounds; and how they use language to tell stories and share information as the way to individualize or compare a student’s performance (Casbergue, 2010). Children who are at risk for later reading problems have weaker emergent literacy skills than children not at risk for later reading problems. Several studies examining the predictive validity between emergent literacy skills and later reading skills have found that emergent literacy skills are good indicators of whether a child will have trouble with reading in the early elementary grades. Therefore, it is helpful for teachers to be able to measure accurately those emergent skills to determine who is most at risk for later reading problems and implement  interventions geared toward improving emergent literacy skills with at risk children (Wilson & Lonigan, 2009). Research suggests several programs or assessments that will help teachers in identifying, guiding, and implementing those skills that will cause students to gain early responsiveness in literacy. The article, â€Å"Increased Implementation of Emergent Literacy Screening in Pre-Kindergarten focuses on the findings that emphasize how prekindergarten programs are prevalent for ensuring academic success in literacy. The findings suggest that children who attend a good Pre-K program will more than likely not have reading difficulties in later years. The use of emergent literacy assessments by teachers helps in discussing the specific information about literacy development that will assist the teacher in making informed decisions for meeting instructional goals and objectives. These assessments help the teachers to learn what the student knows or what they need to learn while also addressing the teacher’s instructional methods and modes. It was found that these assessments help in identifying a student’s strengths and targets their weaknesses for advanced instructional literacy needs. PALS-PreK which focuses on the alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, print concepts, and writing skills of students is the tool that measures the progress of students and helps teachers to assess the knowledge and mastery level of the students. This assessment was used to assess the emergent literacy skills of more than 21,000 students prior to Kindergarten as the way to target their performance. It is an easy to use system that is administered to children individually by the classroom teacher and does not rely on an allotted time for completing the assessment (Invernizzi, Landrum, Teichman, & Townsend, 2010). The Creative Curriculum is an ongoing assessment tool that assesses children using specific objective indicators and predictors of standards that pertain to school readiness and the success of children within the field of literacy. This tool requires that teachers write observations or records of children during naturalistic situations in the classroom or during group time as the most accurate way for measuring the literate success of the child. Children will be required to demonstrate phonological awareness, knowledge of the alphabet and sounds, knowledge of print and emerging writing skills as well as respond to books and other text and will be assessed and placed within a color coded mastery level and will  be assessed throughout the school year (Heroman & Jones, 2010). The article Assessment of Preschool Early Literacy Skills: Linking Children’s Educational Needs with Empirically Supported Instructional Activities, Longman, Allan, & Lerner describe preschool as the critical predictive phase of learning wherein children’s early literacy skills are detected, developed, and directed towards them becoming skilled readers and writers. Longman et al provide a research study that supports the crucial role of teachers in providing children with a strong literacy enriched foundational base wherein there is a rich curriculum that includes the necessary activities that will promote their proficiency in literacy. Substantial evidence points to children’s acquired skills in alphabet knowledge, print, phonology, and oral language attributes to the outgrowth and successful achievement levels in their evolving literacy skills. This article further discussed three methods for determining and evaluating the skills of preschool children. Primary forms of assessment which included informal assessments, screening/progress monitoring, and diagnostic assessments were further investigated as it related to the measurement of children’s developmental goals and gains in correlation to the effectiveness of the teacher’s guided instructions and activities. One valid and reliable assessment that is of particular focus is that of diagnostics assessments. Diagnostic assessments are reliable and valid in that they will identify a child’s strengths within a specific set of skills or discipline and expose mastery of it. Then too, these assessments will measure exactly what they are intended to measure. Longman et al contend, â€Å"The key advantage of diagnostic assessments include in depth examination of specific skill areas, generally high reliability, established validity of the measure, and the ability to compare a specific child’s performance with a known reference group† ( Lonigan, Allan, & Lerner, 2011). The authors provide accurate evidence of children’s progress wherein the tests within the above mentioned literacy areas provided high levels of internal consistency and test retest ability wherein the tests were error free and provided accurate scores. The tests also yielded multiple items within the measure that would further index the child’s developmental level within literacy. A further quasi-experimental research was conducted as to how teachers enhance the early literacy skills of preschool children. The research was conducted during the span of two years and across 20 Head start sites. 750 teachers were selected to participate as 370 classrooms conducted pre and posttest assessments. Student performances were examined in comparison of being taught by teachers with either 1 or 2 years of training and instructional experience. It was found that teachers who were more educated were more effective to the student’s overall achievement of early literacy skills (Landry, Swank, Smith, Assel, & Gunnwig). Even further within the research literature on early childhood literacy is the importance of preschool early intervention in literacy. Researchers have examined phonological awareness skills as being robust skills for later conventional literacy skills. The National Center for Family Literacy (NELP) conducted a meta-analysis of more than 299 studies on children between the ages of birth and five years and recognized phonological awareness as one of the most important determinants of early reading success (Callaghan & Madelaine, 2012). Then too, researchers detail the importance of phonological skills being initially taught in preschool due to the phonological sensitivity of children during this age period. It is estimated that preschool children who have a sound foundation of phonological skills will achieve reading skills during later years. Longitudinal studies have traced the performance early literacy skills of preschoolers and subsequent later grades and determined positive literacy outcomes. Research also places a significant amount of focus on the instructions and strategies that will influence the literacy development of preschoolers. Researchers suggested that preschoolers benefited more from shorter periods of intensive literacy instruction during small group settings within a play based curriculum as opposed to longer periods of instruction. The following chart lists the actual activities or skills that teachers use to promote literacy within the classroom. It lists the frequency of the skills as a way to inform the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the strategies. Language and Literacy Activities in Center-Based Early Childhood Settings (N = 180) | Variable| % Reporting Often or Always| % Reporting Sometimes| % Reporting Seldom or Never| M| SD| Language and Literacy Promotion Scale (23-items)| -| -| -| 4. 17| 0. 64| 1. Read aloud to children in a group setting. | 78. 3| 16. 7| 5. 0| 4. 24| 0. 90| 2. Read aloud to children individually. | 50. 0| 30. 6| 19. 4| 3. 44| 1. 07| 3. Set aside special time each day to read to children. | 75. 0| 19. 4| 5. 6| 4. 13| 0. 97| 4. Read aloud a variety of books. | 85. 6| 9. 4| 5. 0| 4. 34| 0. 87| 5. Reread favorite books. | 82. 8| 12. 8| 4. 4| 4. 28| 0. 90| 6. Talk about books read together. | 68. 9| 20. 6| 10. 6| 3. 95| 1. 11| 7. Ask children questions about the books. | 74. 4| 17. 8| 7. 8| 4. 10| 1. 06| 8. Provide opportunities for children to look at books and other printed materials on own. | 82. 2| 13. 3| 4. 4| 4. 31| 0. 90| 9. Teach children features of a book. | 58. 3| 21. 1| 20. 6| 3. 65| 1. 25| 10. Teach children that printed letters and words run from left to right and from top to bottom. | 63. 3| 19. 4| 17. 2| 3. 74| 1. 21| 11. Practice saying alphabet with the children. | 93. 3| 5. 0| 1. 7| 4. 60| 0. 68| 12. Teach children to recognize letters of alphabet. | 90. 0| 7. 8| 2. 2| 4. 54| 0. 80| 13. Teach children to distinguish between uppercase and lowercase letters. | 69. 4| 20. 6| 10. 0| 3. 98| 1. 19| 14. Help children learn the sounds each letter can represent. | 78. 9| 12. 2| 8. 9| 4. 23| 1. 09| 15. Teach children to write letters of alphabet. | 71. 7| 17. 2| 11. 1| 4. 05| 1. 15| 16. Help children to write their names. | 74. 4| 16. 1| 9. 4| 4. 10| 1. 13| 17. Help children identify different colors, shapes, and sizes. | 88. 3| 8. 3| 3. 3| 4. 57| 0. 80| 18. Help children learn opposites. | 81. 1| 16. 1| 2. 8| 4. 29| 0. 89| 19. Help children recognize numbers. | 87. 2| 8. 9| 3. 9| 4. 46| 0. 83| 20. Practice counting with the children. | 88. 9| 9. 4| 1. 7| 4. 57| 0. 75| 21. Choose books to read aloud that focus on sounds, rhyming, and alliteration. | 77. 2| 16. 7| 6. 1| 4. 16| 0. 93| 22. Have children sing or say a familiar nursery rhyme or song. | 85. 6| 12. 8| 1. 7| 4. 42| 0. 78| 23. Encourage children to make up new verses of familiar songs or rhymes by changing beginning sounds or words. (Green & Peterson, 2006). | 63. 9| 20. 6| 15. 6| 3. 85| 1. 17| Methodology The writer begins by selecting the type of research which will be conducted which is an evaluation research. Two emergent literacy screening tools for preschool age children are used as measureable tools for identifying the acquisition of children’s emergent literacy skills are the Get Ready to Read Tool (GRTR) and the Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDI). The GRTR test has 20 activities that strictly measure phonological and print skills. The children are shown a page with four pictures and asked a question that responds to one of the pictures. At the end of the test the scores are tallied for a final comprehensive score. Children master IGDI test by selecting picture cards that respond to questions about Alliteration and Rhyming, Picture Naming, and Phonological awareness skills. Children are given a flashcard within one of the domains and asked a question and prompted to point to the correct answer. The scores consist of the number of correct answers that were completed within a specified amount of time. Both of these tests were administered in July and October with the consent of the parents of the preschool age children and lasted about 40 minutes (Wilson & Lonigan, 2009). Participants For this study, 21 preschools in Florida participated. The children’s ages ranged from 42 to 55 months. There was an equal distribution of boys and girls. 70% of the children were Caucasian, 19% were African American and 11% were of another ethnicity. Conclusion/Recommendation The IGDI performance test scores were worse than those of the GRTR in terms of concurrent validity and reliability due to some of the children being unable to complete the tests. It was determined that the tests were difficult for the age group and therefore were unreliable. The GRTR was more reliable in that it was geared towards the age of the children. The results of the study were clear in that this screener was better for measuring the emergent literacy skills of preschool children as the evidence for later performance in reading. Researchers, educators, and policy makers are concerned with the quality of literacy programs, the effectiveness of literacy instruction, and the achievement of students with the field of literacy. Finding from this study support how early childhood programs promote language and literacy skills for future success in reading and literacy. References Bright From the Start: Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning. http://decal. ga. gov/documents/attachments/content_standards_full. pdf Callaghan, G. , & Madelaine, A. (2012). Leveling the Playing Field for Kindergarten entry: Research Implications for Preschool Early Literacy Instruction. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37, 13-23. Casbergue, R. M. (2010). Assessment and Instruction in Early Childhood Education: Early Literacy as a Microcosm of Shifting Perspectives. 13-20 Elliot, E. M. , & Oliff, C. B. (2008). Developmentally Appropriate Emergent Literacy Activities for Young Children: Adapting the Early Literacy and Learning Model. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 551-556. Green, S. D. , & Peterson, R. (2006). Language and Literacy Promotion in Early Childhood Setting: A Survey of Center Based Practices. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 14 (1) Heroman, C. , & Jones, C. (2010). The Creative Curriculum for Preschool: Literacy. Vol. 35, 537-567. Invernizzi, M. , Landrum, T. L. , Teichman, A. , & Townsend, M. (2010). Increased Implementation of Emergent Literacy Screening in Pre-Kindergarten. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37, 437-446. Landry, S. Swank, P. R. , Smith, K. E. , & Assel, M. A. (2006). Enhancing Early Literacy Skills for Preschool Children: Bringing a Professional Development Model to Scale. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39, 306-324. Longman, C. J. , Allan, N. P. , & Lerner, M. D. (2011). Assessment of Preschool Early Literacy Skills: Linking Children’s Educational Needs with Empirically Supported Instructional Activities. Psychology in the Schools, 48, 488-501.