Learning to read and write begins well before school starts!

February 10, 2015 by Pascal Lefebvre

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Emergent literacy is an essential step in preparing children for academic learning. Researchers have identified four key skills our little ones should develop during this period that make a significant difference.

Children will learn to read and write more easily if they have good spoken language skills and familiarity with books before their first day of kindergarten.

1- DISCOVERING PRINT

By reading and writing in the presence of children, we teach them about the particularities of the written code and develop their print awareness. By verbally stating why we are reading or writing, we demonstrate the usefulness of writing. By following the text with our finger as we read, we show them how writing works. By pointing out the letters of the alphabet and taking the time to name them when we see or write them, we teach what writing looks like.

2- PLAYING WITH VERBAL LANGUAGE

It is also important to help children realize that verbal language is made up of sounds (phonemes) and syllables. By separating words into syllables, comparing different words to determine whether they rhyme or begin by the same sound, we can guide children to discover language from a different angle and develop their phonological awareness.

3- ENRICHING CHILDREN’S VOCABULARY

Books do not speak exactly the same way we do. Books contain words, expressions and phrasings that we rarely use when speaking in everyday life. By reading children’s books aloud, we expose children to a more formal level of language: written language.

4- USING LANGUAGE TO THINK

Reading a story can give rise to thoughts and ideas that are not necessarily stated literally in the text. To help young children develop this ability to draw inferences, it is important to express these thoughts aloud while reading stories. For example, we can pause to discuss characters’ feelings, the reasons why events occur or to predict what is about to happen.

In short, early reading and writing activities at home and at daycare are an essential step in pro­moting academic learning. Shall we begin today?

Consult a speech-language pathologist:
www.ooaq.qc.ca
For more information:
-http://www.puq.ca/catalogue/livres/langage-litteratie-chez-enfant-service-garde-1705.html
-http://www.mels.gouv.qc.ca/organismes-communautaires/organismes communautaires/eveil-a-la-lecture-et-a-lecriture
-http://ele-sgms.ca

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