Communication, Language and Literacy
Literacy is a part of everyone’s daily life. Children do not wait until they start school to develop literacy skills. Language learning starts at birth.
Support your child’s language learning
(Advice to parents of ESL – English as a Second Language) children as well as English speaking children).
- Speak your home language to your child – (Not English)
- Use everyday occasions to develop and extend the home language naturally (e.g while shopping)
- Read regularly to your child in your language as well as English
- Speak to your child about school so that school vocabulary is developed in the home language.
- When your child starts to read at school hear them and read every day (for at least 10 Minutes). Talk about the books/story in your mother tongue and explain anything to your child does not understand.
- Don’t put unnecessary pressure on your child. Remember, it takes a long time to learn all aspects on any language, especially for Pre–School children, if you have noticed, children make mistakes in their spoken language quite a lot. The grammar bit of it is quite hard for them so they come up with a sentence that only makes sense to them. E.g. A child may say “I wroted in my book”. A lot of past tense words end in “ed” please allow your child to speak and correct them in a gentle manner.
How do you know your child is developing Literacy skills?
You might see him/her…..
- Talking to family members and other people, talking turns in conversations
- Choosing their own book or asking for a story
- Asking questions
- Being able to talk about themselves and their own or other people’s actions.
- Carrying out instructions – from simple “please bring me a plate”, to difficult instructions such as please put your toys away and go to the bathroom and brush your teeth”.
- Watching and listening to adults and other children so they can find out what to do.
- Writing some letters of their name
- Scribbling, drawing and painting with crayons, pencils, paintbrushes etc………
- Talking about stories and predicting what might happen next
In this area of learning, children will be able to master academic skills such as:-
- Language acquisition and extension
- Repetition of appropriate language
- Problem solving and compromising
- Role – playing real life situations
- Developing imagination
There are several story times in the day to help foster the love of books which is the first step towards reading. The children experience the enjoyment of a shared activity, the richness of language and the comfort of security in the repetition of familiar phrases and favorite stories.
Children come to the library once a week and are encouraged to choose a book from a wide variety of fact and fiction. Parents are encouraged to enjoy books with their children, to look at the pictures and read and discuss the stories and pictures.
If the child’s first language is not English, parents are encouraged to read to their children in their own language(s) as the ideas and information which are absorbed and transmitted to their learning of English.
Speaking and Listening
Communication skills of reading and listening will be encouraged through listening to stories and discussing ourselves, our friends and families incorporating the children’s own knowledge and experiences e.g family outings, arrival of a new baby etc….
Children learn to talk because they have a powerful motivation to communicate with people. They learn languages not just by observing and copying, but by speaking with others as they attempt to make sense of their world. We aim to provide an environment which challenges children to build upon their language capabilities while communicating for real purposes. In an accepting and supportive classroom in which they are encouraged to express their ideas, children will be more willing to take risks and experiment with language. This will lead to the understanding of how spoken language relates to written language.
Introduction to the world of print and reading begins very slowly and very informally to ensure that children’s first contact with reading is enjoyable and builds confidently. Children are encouraged to enjoy books together, with their teachers and parents, remembering the sequence of events and beginning to predict what will happen next.
Children will learn the reading direction which is from left to right, to look at the book cover and title for information about the story and how to turn the pages and care for books. The English Preschool uses the Jolly Phonics scheme to teach phonics and the ladybird scheme to teach reading. It is a very interesting and exciting way for children to learn and recognize letter sounds, the alphabet and letter names and to begin forming simple words. Each letter sound has its own action and a story to tell which makes them easy to remember.
How Can I Help My Child With Reading?
- Read to your child as often as you can
- Hold the books so the child can see the pictures and words
- Sometimes point to the words as the child reads especially for emergent readers.
- Help your child read high frequency words (Words we use regularly) especially for emergent and developing readers. This only applies to children who know their letters sounds well.
- Accept and praise your child’s attempts to read
- Let the child hold the book and turn the pages
- Help your child recognize her/his name.
- Select books that use repetition to capture the rhythm of language e.g. the 3 little pigs.
- Talk about the books you read and the people, things and animals in them
- Buy books as presents. Children can also help you choose
- Encourage the child to join in and “read” too
- Place labels around the home e.g. door, window, bedroom etc…
- Teach your child Nursery Rhymes and songs
- Select books that describe familiar experiences, concepts and objects as well as Fairly Tales and fantasy stories
- Help your child to tell the story from the picture in the book
- Draw attention to the illustrations when reading to your child
Writing and Handwriting
The manipulative skills necessary for handwriting are introduced through tracing, lacing, threading beads, cutting and drawing. The English Preschool uses the Nelson Handwriting theme which has cursive script.
Developing comfortable and efficient pencils grip is very crucial at this stage of their learning. Children will also learn how to form lower case letters correctly.
Children in Reception & Year 1 begin to write independently through news writing (Weekend News), and are also introduced to upper case letters and punctuation marks.
Specific targets are that the child places the pencil on the line, spacing words, learn simple spellings and learn sentence construction.
- Please do not force your child into reading and writing. Children will participate when they are developmentally ready and see a purpose for reading and writing.
- Seek help from an Early Childhood Educator or teacher or form another professional if you are concerned about your child’s literacy development.