This month at Sounds good to me, we’ve been looking at the value of literacy, and in particular why it’s important to introduce related skills during the preschool years in order to give kids an advantage when they begin formal school learning.
We’ve discussed literacy as a skill which opens doors to knowledge and opportunities such as health and jobs, and how a regular storytime introduces children to new concepts and ideas. Speech pathologist Anne Williams talked about the concepts of print children should be familiar with by the time they begin school, and how reading to a child regularly can help them learn these concepts.
This includes things like knowing how to hold a book, how to care for it, knowing how to turn pages, understanding where the story starts and ends, and becoming familiar with terms such as ‘word’, ‘author or ‘pages. It is also about understanding that the spoken words in the story are represented on the page by letters.
“That 10 minutes you spend with a child or a group of children, sharing a book, is really helping them to develop their language, their cognition and their reading skills,” Anne said during this month’s free webinar.
Anne also spoke about the importance of modelling book reading to children. She noted that children who were read to everyday were performing at a level equal to those 12 months older.
“The word gap of more than 1 million words between children raised in a literacy-rich environment and those who were never read to is striking,” said Jessica Logan, lead author of the study and assistant professor of educational studies at The Ohio State University.