Reading Aloud for Literacy

2014-BHSM-logo-horizBetter Speech and Hearing Month is the perfect time to draw attention to the connection to literacy and good listening and speaking skills. Reading aloud promotes literacy and is a great way to connect with your children. For suggestions, visit our Book Corner. The following information comes from

A child’s family has a profound impact on his/her ability to succeed and conquer literacy, which is the foundation on which all learning is based. As a parent, you have the ability to create a foundation of reading and language for your child through your interactions and relationship. Taking time each day to develop these underlying skills can be both fun and rewarding for both you and your child. Take a look around to learn facts and tips from the pros on how to give your child an advantage when it comes to literacy

Know The Facts

  • Early literacy begins soon after birth as children start to learn about the world they live in.
  • Early literacy begins with good listening and speaking skills.
  • Early literacy requires the child to have a good understanding of the structure of his/her language, while maintaining an age-appropriate receptive and expressive vocabulary.
  • Children with speech and language delays are more likely to have later difficulties with reading and writing.
  • Parents and caregivers are children’s first teachers.
  • Early exposure to books will give children an opportunity to hear words, see pictures and gain new knowledge.
  • Children who are read to do better in school.
  • Reading is a great way to bond with children (make it fun, not work).
  • One can never be too young for books.

Tips From The Pros

The best way to read to kids

  • Be comfortable, preferably face-to-face
  • The child should be able the see the book right-side-up

For babies and toddlers

  • Follow their eye gaze and name pictures as they are looking at them, using exaggerated facial expressions, intonation and gestures
  • Expand the child’s knowledge by relating the objects or topics to things in the child’s own life (child’s pet, family, toys, etc.)
  • Don’t have a plan or agenda, just share the moment and follow your child’s lead, repeating the same books or pages as many times as you can tolerate (children love repetition)
  • Praise the child for any attempt to say words, answer your questions with words or point to pictures

For 2-4-year-olds

  • Give the child time to look at the pictures before reading the book
  • Make the story interesting by changing your voice for each character
  • Ask the child comprehension questions to keep them engaged
  • Ask the child what he/she thinks will happen, what would he/she do, how did the character feel, etc.
  • Praise the child for his/her answers
  • Remember it is supposed to be fun, not work!

For 4 years and up

  • Do the same as above
  • Ask the child to talk about the story after it is read
  • While reading, stop and have the child guess the word
  • Trace the words with your finger as you read
  • Praise the child for reading with you

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