The Complete Teacher


Developing literacy skills

Posted by Hlengiwe Zwane on 07 March 2023, 11:35 SAST
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The big four to foundational phase literacy
Promoting literacy development with parents

The development of a child’s literacy skills is a vital part of their overall development. It’s the foundation for socialising with others, decision-making, developing independence and navigating their way through life. Before children can learn to read and write, they need to develop the building blocks for literacy ranging from listening to the ability to speak and understand amongst many other factors.

As they get older, they need to learn about the connection between letters and spoken words as well as sounds. In order for this to happen children need experience with the following:

  • Pictures and objects - How words can be used to talk about images and objects. 

  • Letters and words - How they look and sound.

  • Sounds - How words can rhyme, begin and end with the same letter and so on.

These are the areas that you can assist in developing from an early age so that you can develop strong literacy skills in all your students, especially in the early development stages.

  • Communicating with your students and encouraging their parents to do the same at home as well.

  • Reading together with your students and encouraging their parents to do this at home as well. 

  • Playing with rhyme and other sounds with your class. 

Why is rhyme important for literacy development?
Rhyming is a great way to help children hear and identify different sounds in words. So that when children start learning to read, rhyming helps them learn the connection between the sound of a word and how it’s written.

What you can do as both an educator and parent are the following:

  • Play games that involve rhyming. Rhyming games help children appreciate beginning, middle and ending sounds for example, ‘cat, pat and mat’. You can play them at any time in the classroom or at home.

  • Play games that involve the sound and rhythm of words. You could try tongue twisters like ‘She sells seashells by the seashore’.

These are just a few exercises that we thought we could share with you. Are there any other activities or games that you practice with your students that you can share with us? Leave a comment in the box below.

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