Speech, language and literacy are closely linked. This is because to develop good literacy skills, you need to be able to speak and understand language. If you can’t say it or understand it, you won’t be able to read it or write it. As a result, children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) often struggle with literacy.
Try our top five things to do to help your child with SLCN with their reading:
- Word Power - talk about what different words mean and tell your child the name for anything they don't know. This is how children learn new words and helps them to become better readers.
- Tell stories together - talk about your day and what you did. We tell stories all the time, both real and made up and these can help your child become a reader and a writer of stories.
- Chat - talk about things you see in the book - who's in it, what they did and where they went. Don’t worry about straying away from what is on the page! Don't rush; sometimes children may want to spend time talking or looking at one particular page.
- Get creative: make your own books - you can use your phone or a camera. Take pictures when you're out or doing something at home and make it into a story together. For some children, talking about what’s in their own story book can be their first experience of ‘reading’.
- Ask questions about the story but try to avoid too many ‘testing’ questions such as 'what's that', 'where's the dog' and so on. These can be useful sometimes but children benefit more from hearing you say the words and using strategies like pausing to see if they copy e.g. ‘I can see a dog, you can see a (pause)...’
Most importantly of all, enjoy sharing a book together on World Book Day.