Helping your child develop language skills
A study at Manchester University found that picture books do boost literacy.
The key to success is to talk about what happens in the book while reading it.
As it turns out, picture books with few words at each page can help develop literacy skill in children better than complicated texts.
The simple text in picture books tends to stimulate complex discussions between adult and child, whereas complicated sentences reduce the need for dialogue.
Read more about it here:
Photo credit John Morgan http://www.flickr.com/photos/aidanmorgan/
My son just finished reading “Cat in the hat” in English after reading it so many times in Hebrew (English being our second language). He loved it of course, kept comparing words for meaning between Hebrew and English.
I remember doing exactly the same at the beginning of my deep longtime romance with English literature…The first book I read in English was Douglas Adams’s “The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”. I was enchanted and delighted, discovering new words in English that I never had a chance to stumbled upon before in class, and the reading was so much easier because I knew the plot.
If you want to help your child read fluently in a second language, pick his or hers favorite book, get it in both languages and start reading…
And remember, if the going gets tough – DON’T PANIC! the answer is as always = 42
Does your child read books?
Reading proficiently is essential for our kids self-esteem and life skills.
The overwhelming stimulation present everywhere today decreases kids attention and interest in reading books.
As parents we can do something about that.
Here are a few tips:
- Don’t nag, bribe or make a big deal of reading
- Don’t judge or criticize your child for not reading
- Try to understand why they don’t want to read – Is it boring them? Do they have a difficulty reading? They have better things to do?
- Try to find your child’s taste in reading materials (even magazines or newspapers) if they are interested it’s a start…
- Encourage them to research issues they are interested in, for example search the web for information about building bird houses and such
- Read aloud for your child
- Support the reading with external activities – for example after reading a book about a dinosaurs go to the museum to understand more about them.
In this website you can find more “Do’s and Don’t’s” to help your child discover the magic of books:
Photo credit: Tim Pierce (originally posted to Flickr as lost) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
One of the first books that gripped me as a child was “The 35th of May, or Conrad’s Ride to the South Seas” by Erich Kästner. I loved the humor and the absurd adventures that seem to take a whole different view of the world.
Today my son told me it’s one of his favorite books! His reasons were very similar to mine…
The 35th of May is chapter book about strange and absurd adventures that Conrad is having with his uncle, with many insights into grown-up’s behavior. Great read for children of all ages…