How to Encourage Literacy in Young Children

12 Oct 2018 5:38 PMLicensee Person
How to Encourage Literacy in Young Children

Building vocabulary and encouraging early literacy.

We all want our children to get the best possible start on the road towards literacy. We know that reading to children is very important for developing language and reading skills, but what else can we do to encourage the development of literacy in young children?


The Abecedarian Approach to Literacy

The Abecedarian Approach to literacy is all about taking reading to your child one step further. It is an evidence-based, proven program that integrates basic principles of child development and learning into a fun and effective approach to literacy. The approach focuses on conversational reading and the use of rich language to encourage children to take part and engage with the books that are being read to them.


Conversational Reading

Conversational reading ignores the traditional style of reading a book cover to cover and allows a child to show their own sense of agency in the book they choose and how they read it. As you read to the child, speak to them about what they are seeing. Let the child lead conversations about the text or the pictures and encourage them to use language and speak about what they see.


Interactive book reading takes away the stress and encourages children to be interested and confident. It gives children a love of reading and books, which is a wonderful habit for later life.


Some great strategies for conversational reading include:


  1. See, Show and Say. See: You name an object on the page. Show: You ask the child to show you a particular object on a page. Say: You ask the child to name a particular object on the page.


  1. Encourage joint attention where your child focuses their attention on the same thing as you. Begin by joining your attention with your child’s and focusing on what they are looking at. Then attempt to redirect the child’s attention to something else, either by pointing or by gaze.


  1. Let your child choose the book that you read together.


  1. Sit with your child and open a book – but don’t start reading straight away. Watch what they are doing and follow their lead.


  1. Encourage lots of speech by asking questions as you are reading – e.g. “Why does this character feel sad?” or “What would you do in this situation?”


  1. Make reading special one on one time for you and your child that they look forward to. This will help to make reading a positive experience for children.


At Bush Babies, we believe in using evidence-based strategies to encourage child development. Through frequent, one-on-one, interactive reading sessions between educator and child, we develop children’s sense of confidence and guide them towards a lifelong love of books and reading. For more information on our program, contact us today.