Literacy is one of the most important steps in a child’s development. Emergent readers are children who have a strong grasp of the alphabet and are able to repeat a number of high-frequency words.
Early readers are ahead of the game when it comes to childhood development. They understand the function of texts and the fact that words that appear in books are the same as the words they use in real life.
But how do you help early readers take advantage of their intellectual capacities? If you’re wondering how to teach emergent readers, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through a couple of ways.
1. Relate to Real Life
One of the most beautiful things about literature is that it teaches us how to live. We think more in words than we do in pictures, and learning to articulate our thoughts in words is just as important as thinking.
Help your child make this connection by asking them to sum up what happened in the book in their own words. Urge them to discover connections, themes, and images. Don’t worry too much about whether they get it “correct” or not; the goal is to make the connections.
2. Bring It Out of the Book
Help your child understand that reading isn’t just for books, it’s for everyday life. Print out slips of paper, laminate them, and tape them to various objects around the room with the names of those objects written on them. This will help your child understand that words refer to things we encounter in real life; it will also help them learn to read signs and menus.
3. Group Your Words
When teaching your child words, teach them shapes, colors, days of the week, months of the year, etc in their respective groups. Groups will not only make it easier for your child to understand the full spectrum of the idea involved and increase their vocabulary but help develop the ability to develop links between certain words.
4. Listen, Listen, Listen
When your child has something to say about something they read. . . listen! Hear out what they’re trying to say, and genuinely try to understand it. If you want to know how to help, just ask them questions to get them to tell you more, and offer your own opinions as well.
When you give an emergent reader this level of autonomy, you teach them they won’t have to forever rely on adults to communicate. This, in turn, teaches them to become an adult themselves.
Check out AdaptEd’s guide on teaching emergent readers for more great tactics.
Learn to Teach Emergent Readers
Emergent readers are children whose brains are rapidly developing; they’re ready to start reading at any moment, they just need a little push. Thankfully, by relating what they read to real life, bringing language out of books, grouping words, and listening, you can push emergent readers into full-fledged readers.
For more articles like this, check out our “education” section.