Early Literacy Skills— Sowing the Seeds of Reading Success in Young Children

Guest blog post by: Vivian Yau, Smile Speech Therapy 


kids-booksEarly literacy skills refer to what children know about reading and writing BEFORE they can actually read and write. Focusing on these skills in an interactive and fun way can set young children up to become successful readers as well as develop a love for reading.

Here are some ideas on how to target early literacy skills at home with your child:

bedtime-readPrint Motivation—enjoying and having fun with books
Find books that are interesting to your child and follow their lead as you share the book together. Make it engaging by using facial expressions, different voices, and acting out the book.

Vocabulary—the more words you know, the easier it is to read
Use specific words with your child and explain the meanings of words.

sisters-readNarrative Skills—re-telling stories and talking about events that happen
Encourage your child to pretend play and make up stories. Have your child tell about special events that happened to them (e.g., birthday party).

Letter Recognition—knowing that each letter has a name and has different sounds
Point out letters in the environment and talk about the sound that it makes. Talk about the letters in your child’s name.

boy-readingPhonological Awareness—hearing and playing with the sounds in words
Clap out syllables in words. Talk about the first sound in words and rhyming words.

Print Awareness—knowing that letters and words have meaning
Point out the words while reading books aloud. Point out print you see in the environment such as: road signs, food labels, store signs.


flyerIf you are interested in learning more strategies for targeting early literacy skills and seeing them in action, Smile Speech Therapy is offering a series of Language and Literacy Parent and Child Classes for 2 and 3 year old children.

Please contact us for more information and mention Mommy Connections for a discounted rate, by emailing: info@smilespeech.ca, or by calling: (416) 488 – 7807 


image1Vivian is a mother of 3 young boys with 14 years of experience helping children improve their speech and language skills. She is the founder of a new private practice called Smile Speech Therapy which provides in-home or in-clinic (Bayview/Eglinton) speech and language services to children in Toronto and the surrounding area.

www.smilespeech.ca

Guest blog post by: Vivian Yau, Smile Speech Therapy 


Before babies can even talk, they are communicating with you through many other ways. Here are some helpful tips for how to stimulate and support the development of your little communication partner at an early age.

Pay attention to and respond to your baby’s cries, sounds, facial expressions, body movements, and actions. Remember to get face-to-face with your baby so he or she can see your face and mouth and you can observe how they are responding.

IMG_1225Use “motherese” or infant-directed speech when talking to your young baby. That means using a higher pitch than normal, simplified words, and an exaggerated musical quality to your talking. Think of how complete strangers will come up to you and naturally lower themselves to your baby’s level and speak to your baby in that singsong manner: “You are such a cute baby! Look at that smile!”. Studies show that speaking to babies in this manner is better for getting your baby to pay attention to you and stay engaged and interested.

IMG_1224Take turns with your baby by copying his or her coos, sounds, and babbles. Pretty soon you will be having back and forth “conversations” with your little one and really showing them the power of speech.

Lastly, be aware of what to expect of your child’s communication skills at different ages to make sure he or she is on-track. An online checklist for communication milestones can be found at:

http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/english/earlychildhood/speechlanguage/brochure_speech.aspx

**For a free phone consultation about your child’s speech and language skills, call me at (416)488-7807 and mention Mommy Connections. I look forward to hearing from you!

image1Vivian Yau,
M.Sc., CCC-SLP, Reg. CASLPO
Speech-Language Pathologist and Clinical Director at Smile Speech Therapy

 


image1Vivian is a mother of 3 young boys with 14 years of experience helping children improve their speech and language skills. She is the founder of a new private practice called Smile Speech Therapy which provides in-home or in-clinic (Bayview/Eglinton) speech and language services to children in Toronto and the surrounding area. For more information, please visit www.smilespeech.ca

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