Literacy lessons for parents and teachers

A reader must be created. You already know this. But how? That’s the $20,000 question, isn’t it? How-to books, readers, flash memory cards and specialized reading programs can be purchased with the $20,000 you would save by not having to pay for a tutor.

You could, but it’s not mandatory. Lets go to what matters. 80 to 85 percent of children learned to read in the first half of first grade, and most of these children did so without the help of specialized reading programs or books. Simple pre-literacy practices they face at home or at school will help many of these young people learn to read.

Studies have shown that starting early is unnecessary and may do more harm than good. Emergent literacy can be undermined by formal reading instruction, particularly when offered too early and if the emphasis is on ‘skill and training’. However, before reaching that point, there are things you can do to establish a solid foundation in early literacy that will make it easier for your child to learn to read in the future.

Strong speaking and listening skills are essential for children to learn to read and write. Adults who encourage their children to communicate, ask questions, and engage in role-play can help them develop a larger vocabulary as well as an understanding of spoken and written language.

The most essential thing you can do for a child is to read, speak and listen to them at every opportunity.

Reading is built on the foundation of three skills. Learning to read is easier for children who already have good foundations in print knowledge, literacy awareness, and language comprehension.

Understanding that print media, such as books and signage, conveys a message is called print knowledge. Learning to read a book or page correctly includes understanding that people read words rather than pictures (right side up, left to right, top to bottom).

The first attempts a child makes to use print in a meaningful way are included in literacy awareness. Learning to read and write involves the ability to identify letters and groups of letters (the young person identifies his name or the name of a store).

Understanding how a language works is the definition of language understanding. Individual letters in words can be sounded and the number of words in a spoken phrase counted.

Early exposure to language, books, and print helps children acquire these skills. Play, discussion, and a wide variety of other activities can provide them with these kinds of encounters on a regular basis. Play and talk are important tools young children use to learn and understand the world around them. They are creating the framework for reading and writing as they talk about everyday jobs and exceptional occasions, tell stories, sing songs, and doodle.

Many young people find it difficult to learn to read because they are not exposed to language, books and the press in their daily lives. To help children learn to read, they need more time in their early childhood programs and at home. Children’s ability to read and write at a high level can be severely impaired if they are not exposed to developmentally appropriate skill improvement early.

Reading and writing

Every human being begins the process of becoming a literate individual practically as soon as he or she is born. In a nutshell, we were pre-programmed to learn to read and write. This does not mean, however, that the path to literacy is an easy one.

There is a natural path to literacy that we are all designed to follow, but literacy does not develop in isolation. When people are engaged in a literacy community, they develop literacy as a result. Emergent literacy relies heavily on interactions such as reading a picture book together, telling a story, and discussing one’s experiences.

While most parents are aware of the value of reading to their children, this cannot be emphasized enough. According to the Partnership for Reading, a program run by the National Literacy Institute, “Reading aloud to children has long been considered the most critical activity for establishing the information necessary for successful reading.”

Children learn to read because their parents read to them and model the importance of reading in their lives. Every day, spend some time reading aloud to your child. Reading aloud to your child while he sleeps can be a powerful way to get your child interested in books and reading in general.

Research shows that parents who raise excellent readers do more than just read to their children. Furthermore, they use a variety of techniques to enhance the reading experience. Before reading a book, talk about it with your child; read aloud with enthusiasm; allow your child to ask questions; these are all basic tactics. For children who have heard the story many times, parents can have them “read” the narrative aloud to them, or they can come up with their own fun variants of the story.

That said, there are other ways your child can learn. Individuals and their surroundings constantly interact to create new knowledge, which is the product of this dynamic interaction. Active experimentation is a way for a young person to explore new things. Make sure your child has access to books alone and with you, and encourage them to do so.

It is important to keep in mind that the term “literacy” encompasses much more than just the ability to read. Learning to read and write is a lifelong process, as are activities like drawing, coloring and singing. Literacy can be developed without the use of print. Reading and writing can be learned in many ways. Some of these methods may seem like child’s play, but this only increases their effectiveness.

Play is a primary means through which children acquire knowledge and skills. To build knowledge and develop representational thinking, children need to be able to explore, experience and manipulate their environment through play. Play is a time for children to evaluate and modify their learning in light of information they receive from the environment and from others. Children’s imagination and inventiveness flourish when they are allowed to run wild when engaged in play. Children’s play becomes more rule-oriented and promotes the development of autonomy and collaboration, which contributes to social, emotional and intellectual development in the early grades.

Emergent literacy is also influenced by children’s ability to make up stories with their peers. In fact, pretending is a great way for kids to improve their language skills related to literacy. When young people use language to build fantasy worlds, there are many similarities between pretend play and reading. In a series of sociodramatic play activities, it is essential to provide children with the opportunity to communicate with each other through language.

Playing with blocks can also help children build a strong foundation for reading. Despite the apparent disparity between reading, writing and block games, the latter offers literacy-related advantages such as teaching young people to recognize symbols, improve their visual discrimination, improve their fine motor skills and practice oral language.

So remember that your ultimate goal is to help your child become literate, not just teach them to read. When you spend time with your children talking, reading, singing, acting and playing, you help them develop the skills they need to read on their own.