Moving from learning to read to reading to learn
Learning to read is one of the most challenging, yet at the same time, rewarding skill a young child can pick up. To nurture a proficient reader, enriching prior knowledge, building meaningful learning moments, creating opportunities to interact and use language is imperative.
Children who cannot read and/or write well identify the following as common challenges:
1) Cannot see patterns in words
2) Does not see meaning in the print they are reading
3) Is not able to relate experiences into critical thinking
4) Lack the language technicalities e.g. grammar and vocabulary to be proficient in expression
Reading and comprehension goes hand in glove. We need to understand what we are reading before we can connect with what is being read. When a young child learns to read, the skill of decoding letters, sounds into words acts much like a form of strategy that children can adopt to pick up reading skills. Phonetic awareness therefore acts like building blocks to language learning.
Good readers however do not stop there. They learn to internalize texts that they are exposed to in many ways, ultimately working towards being able to build upon skills of inference and critical thinking. To do so, there has to be exposure to the pillars of language, grammar and vocabulary.
What can we do then to nurture good readers?
1) Start them young. Read a lot and aloud to them from an early age. Enrich their learning moments, even in a classroom with meaningful interaction. Examples could be through songs, movement, experiential learning etc.
2) Choose quality books. Much can be learnt from books that carry good morals and talking points. For young readers, good picture illustrations are important as they act as cues to picking up reading subsequently through linking pictorials to print.
3) Allow them to voice opinions and encourage alternative views. Meaningful interaction builds connection within the child between “what they knew then to what they know now”. This connection is key to allow for comprehension of reading.
4) Infuse meaningful moments to share. Draw writing experiences from the books read. Or extrapolate and make learning from books fun and meaningful whilst academic.
Learning should be fun and engaging
Most importantly, do not kill a child’s interest to read by making the reading process mechanical and a drag. Learning should be fun and engaging whilst systematic. Learn to read. Then, extend that — read to learn. A good reading programme should, at each level, expose young ones to a learning experience that will help to guide them towards independent reading.
Find out more about the reading programme at LEAP SchoolHouse that caters to children 3-6 years of age at www.leapschoolhouse.com.sg or call us.
LEAP SchoolHouse Pte Ltd
180 Kitchener Road, #09-09/10
City Square Mall
Tel: 6634 0828
Email: [email protected]
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