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Reading: Importance In Literacy Development

It’s a good idea to read with your child often.  You can start from birth onwards.


Children who have had experiences with language and print from an early age are more likely to develop a solid literacy foundation.


Reading with your child:

  • gives you enjoyable time with him as you share an activity, looking at pictures and playing with words


  • helps him start to appreciate what books have to offer, and shows him that books can give both pleasure and information


  • helps him learn the sounds of letters in spoken language


  • helps him understand that stories aren’t coming from you, but from the words on the page – this teaches him about how the printed word works


  • helps him develop a larger vocabulary, which increases his understanding, pleasure and interest in reading (this is because books offer more unusual words than are used in everyday language or on television)


  • improves his thinking and problem-solving skills


  • can start a conversation about a new concept, an event or something that interests your child.


What you can do

  • Read with your child. You can start from birth, but it’s never too late to begin.


  • When your child is old enough, encourage her to hold the book and turn the pages. This will help her start to understand that the book should be a certain way up, and that pages are always turned in the same direction.


  • Slide your finger along underneath the words as you read them, pointing out each word. This indicates to your child that we always start on the left and move to the right when reading English, helping him start to understand the rules of reading.


  • Point out pictures and talk about the pictures your child points to.


  • Make the sounds of animals or other objects in the book – have fun!


Rhyme: its importance in literacy development

Rhyming is a great way to teach children the connection between the sound of a word and how it’s written.


What you can do

  • Play games that involve rhyming. Rhyming words helps children appreciate beginning and ending sounds – for example, ‘cat, pat and mat’. You can play them at any time – in the car, while shopping or at the dinner table.


  • Play games that involve the sound and rhythm of words. You could try ‘I Spy’ and tongue twisters such as ‘She sells seashells by the seashore’.


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