Reading books aloud to children not only helps them develop an appreciation for literature, it also cultivates their emergent literacy skills. Through hearing books read aloud, children will begin to pick out common words and phrases and will be able to recognize these words and phrases much more easily when they begin to read on their own. Furthermore, hearing books read aloud enables children to experience writing aspects such as word choice, sentence structure and punctuation in an intuitive manner.
To assist young children in the development of their reading-comprehension abilities, you must begin by utilizing routines that build emergent literacy skills. Emergent literacy skills begin developing soon after a child is born. When you cultivate the child's emergent abilities, the child will more easily perfect conventional writing and reading skills in the future.
Though they feature relatively few words, picture books are helpful in teaching emergent literacy skills. Not only do the images help get children excited about reading, they also provide a visual reference for understanding the story. By associating words with visual depictions of objects and actions, children will begin to grasp the meaning of these words before they develop full reading-comprehension abilities.
To fully cultivate emergent literacy skills, it is important to incorporate writing routines into the child's education. Spelling games provide children with a list of words that they are required to memorize. Through memorization, children will be able to visually recognize these words when they appear in other texts. Such words are known as "sight words" because they are understood at first glance, with no mental consideration required. By providing children with spelling games that feature the most common words children will establish the necessary foundation for fully developed reading-comprehension skills.
Reading in the Environment
An everyday routine that builds emergent literacy skills is pointing out words in the environment. This includes words on signs, appliances, menus and other everyday objects. Understanding the common words used in everyday situations will help children develop their practical reading abilities. Furthermore, this routine establishes a relationship between the words and the real-world objects, which increases the child's grasp of language and meaning.