How can you give your child a leg up on the competition when it comes to literacy?
Regular home-teachings where their preschool child is obliged to memorize the letters of the alphabet and lists of words are occasionally used by well-intentioned parents to give their preschool child a head start in their literacy education. While seeing a child remember a lot of letters and words may reassure a parent, research has shown that this form of “Skill and Drill” learning has little impact on whether or not a child will be a successful reader and writer in the future. The best predictor of how well they will acquire reading skills in the future is their oral language skills. All literacy is built on the foundation of oral language. Your kid must have established excellent Oral Language skills before learning to read and write.
Your preschooler will need to acquire two types of oral language skills:
1. Receptive Listening – paying attention to, comprehending, and remembering what others say to them, including stories and songs.
2. Expressive Speaking — gaining confidence in speaking with people in one-on-one and group situations.
According to world-renowned literacy expert, a child’s literacy education should begin with listening and speaking, then progress to reading and writing. This means that children learn to read and write by hearing people speak to them and having many opportunities to speak for themselves. Talkative kids who know a lot of words (or have a large vocabulary) tend to be good readers and writers.
How do you give your child an opportunity to speak?
Children require opportunities to engage with other children and adults in a variety of contexts, including the home, preschool, gym class, social gatherings, and family reunions. They also require opportunities to chat about themselves, their friends, their families, their pets, their interests, and their vacations, among other things.
Here are 6 more techniques to help your kid improve his or her oral language skills:
Add details and adjectives to your child’s remarks, such as “Look at that car,” “Yes, it’s a gleaming red automobile with enormous tires,” and so on.
Play word games like I Spy or make up stories on the spot.
Play age-appropriate word games on the board and computer.
During discussion and when reading stories to your child, talk about feelings and establish ‘feeling language,’ for example, “How do you suppose Little Red Riding Hood felt when she saw the wolf in Grandma’s bed?”
“What if Little Red Riding Hood didn’t go to Grandma’s cottage?” or “I wonder why…” are examples of thought-provoking inquiries.
Allow your child time and space with you with no objective or ‘learning outcome’ other than to enjoy each other’s company and chat about whatever comes up, such as when you’re playing or strolling together, watching a movie, or reading together.
How can you tell if your child’s Oral Language abilities are progressing at a healthy pace?
Many parents are concerned about their child’s development in comparison to other children. According to studies, if your child has the following Oral Language abilities by the age of five, you can be certain that they are developing their literacy skills at the predicted rate.
With a vocabulary of hundreds of words, they are able to express themselves effectively.
Retells a narrative in the correct order and with accurate details.
Makes predictions about what will happen next in a story or a television show.
Can explain the meanings of terms and how items are used.
Able to respond to ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions.
‘When’ inquiries begin to be asked.
Can respond to hypothetical queries such as “What would you do if?” with a rationale.
Can converse with a wide spectrum of people about a variety of issues.
Uses creativity and make-believe to act out and role play with peers in activities and play.
In general, speech is plain.
Continues to speak with grammatical faults, such as “drunk.”
You can be certain that your child is growing normally if they demonstrate all of the aforementioned oral language skills by the age of five. Furthermore, if you talk to your child every day and read to them, you can rest assured that you are laying the groundwork for your child to acquire good reading and writing skills in the future.