A child’s vocabulary – their knowledge of letters, sounds and meanings of words is strongly associated with their level of reading in their journey through school. It is very important for parents to understand the relationship a child has with words in order to promote strong literacy skills.
When children hear new words and are taught how to pronounce those words, the meaning of those words and the links between the spoken word and the written letters they represent they can form an expectation about what the written word will look like. This means that children who are read too and communicated with often will process orally familiar words more quickly when they read them for the first time.
While children may be learning words at school, parents can make daily deposits into a child’s “Word Account” – their storage of words. When speaking or reading with them pay attention to unfamiliar words, ask if they have heard the word before and take the opportunity to have a dialogue about that word and what it means. Help them practice pronouncing the words and associating the different sounds with letters. This is a very important in helping children build a repertoire of words with pronunciations and meanings, which is vital to supporting their literacy development.
The Pickering Reading Circle