In today’s rapidly changing world, it’s more important than ever to have strong literacy skills. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who enjoys reading and writing, being able to communicate effectively is essential. But what if I told you that the foundation for literacy actually starts with speaking?
Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between oral language development and literacy acquisition. In other words, if children struggle to develop strong speaking skills, they are likely to struggle with reading and writing as well. This is because language is the building block for all literacy skills, and if you can’t say the words, you won’t be able to read or write them either.
So, what can we do to help children develop strong speaking and oral language skills and, in turn, improve their literacy skills? Here are a few ideas emanating from the St Edward’s three year study into Oral Language Development:
- Encourage conversation: Children need plenty of opportunities to practice their speaking skills. Encourage them to talk about their day, ask questions, and express their thoughts and feelings. By doing so, you’re helping them to develop their vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure, all of which are important for reading and writing.
- Read aloud: Reading aloud is one of the most effective ways to help children develop their language skills. When you read to a child, you’re exposing them to new words and ideas, helping them to build their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your child and foster a love of reading. Don’t forget to read a variety of topics to increase their vocabulary.
- Play language games: Language games can be a fun and effective way to help children develop their language skills. For example, you could play “I Spy” to help your child practice describing objects or play a game of “Simon Says” to help them follow directions.
- Use technology: There are plenty of apps and games available that can help young children develop their language skills. For example, the apps “Articulation Station”, “Splingo”, “ReadingEggs” and “Speech Blubs” use fun and engaging activities to help children improve their speech and language skills.
By focusing on oral language development, we can help children to develop the foundation they need for strong literacy skills. Remember, if they can’t say it, they won’t be able to read it, let alone write it.
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