Teachers Make Reading Child's Play

By Andreas Wilson-Späth

Being able to read and write are crucial skills that allow us to communicate with others and provide us with access to the information we need to live in, make sense of and enjoy our fascinating world. For pre-school children, teachers play an incredibly important role in promoting literacy development.

Fostering A Love For Words

The basic requirements for being literate include the ability to speak, listen, read, write and interpret meaning. Good pre-school teachers have an extensive arsenal of tricks at their disposal to promote these skills in children.

They will engage kids in many playful activities that strengthen their capacity to hear the difference between sounds and understand the connection between the written and the spoken word, while steadily increasing their vocabulary and improving their comprehension of the structure of language.

Using a wide range of techniques, including games, songs and stories, teachers nudge young kids towards becoming literate, for instance by helping them to recognise letters and words by sight and teaching them how to join sounds to form syllables and words.

Effective teachers foster a child’s emerging language aptitudes by:

- regularly engaging them in literacy activities such as story time, encouraging them to ask questions about the stories being read to them and asking them to tell their own stories, as well as incorporating reading in other fun activities;

- providing a rich variety of reading materials (books, posters, magazines, games) in the classroom;

- actively involving parents in their child’s literacy development;

- being role models who constantly express their love and enthusiasm for books and reading.

As a parent, you can support your child’s burgeoning literary abilities by taking them to the library regularly to choose books, talking to them about what you are reading (from cookbooks and restaurant menus to magazines and novels), reading books to them (especially ones that include rhymes and repeat words and phrases) and pointing to words as you read them, singing songs together, and putting up large alphabet letters around the house, naming them and asking your child to do so, too.


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