Dialogic reading is a powerful way to nurture language development. Children read in this style perform much better on language development tests.

In addition to vocabulary outcomes, studies have found that shared book reading enhances children’s associated topic knowledge and insights into others’ emotions and perspectives.

Reading

Reading with a child can help develop their literacy skills and understanding of the arc of a story. Children’s language learning books often have fun, tactile features like pull tabs and flaps that children can manipulate to help them engage with the story.

These features also provide frequent exposure to words like in, on, under, next to, etc.

Many popular e-books feature interactive features that support language learning and early literacy skills. For example, hidden ‘hotspots’ that can be touched by the reader animate illustrations and text and highlight congruently with the narrator’s voice to promote print awareness.

Sharing books with young children is one of the best ways to promote all aspects of language development. It’s never too early to start – babies can learn about books and their content as early as six months.

Parents are encouraged to follow their child’s lead and discuss their chosen books. They are encouraged to use open-ended conversations that allow the child to share their perspective on the story’s plot.

Vocabulary

Children encountering new words in a book can use context clues to determine their meanings. The more context clues they have, the more likely they will remember and use the words in their speech and writing.

Reading aloud with children is a great way to help them build their vocabulary and general knowledge. When a book includes a new word, pause and explain it to students or ask them to guess its meaning from the context clues in the text.

Often, a new word appears on multiple pages in the book, giving students many opportunities to hear it and learn its meaning.

One study found that a teacher-led book-based program involving shared reading and classroom activities with support material impacted grammar, narrative skill, perspective taking, and associated topic knowledge and vocabulary development.

Online Educational Games for Kids

This program was designed to encourage teachers to extend the book theme by inviting child-initiated play and other activities centered around the book’s themes.

Phonics

Phonics teaches children to link sounds in spoken language to letters or groups of letters (graphemes) in written language. It’s the basis for learning to read and spell.

There are different approaches to phonics instruction. One is called synthetic phonics, and it involves teaching children a variety of sound-symbol correspondences.

Another is called analytic phonics, and it teaches children to analyze the letter-sound relationships of words they’ve already learned to avoid pronouncing the sounds in isolation.

Research shows that phonics instruction is one of the best predictors of early literacy success. Books are a great way to teach this critical reading skill. Having parents regularly read with their children is also one of the most important predictors of children’s language development and reading readiness.

Grammar

Children’s books can trigger a toddler’s imagination depending on their topic. Imaginative topics like pirates, spaceships, castles, and princesses are perfect for engaging young children in conversations that promote their vocabularies.

Alphabet books, for instance, provide children with a way to learn letter-name and letter-sound correspondence in an enjoyable, illustrative format that makes the letters accessible to remember.

Additionally, by reading these books with their families, children can build a repertoire of word-sound associations that will help them when they begin to read.

A study that included the Extend intervention, a loosely scripted classroom program organized around shared book reading, found that it positively impacted second-language vocabulary, grammar, and narrative skills, essential for social-emotional development.

In addition, the program’s focus on perspective-taking during book reading moved children’s ability to shift perspectives and understand others’ emotions and internal states. This skill is essential for socioemotional growth and ultimately contributes to text comprehension.

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