Tag Archives: literacy

What Does a Speech Pathologist Know About Language and Literacy?

Jamie Putnam, speech language pathologist and owner of Capital Area Speech Therapy, has been providing in-service opportunities to preschool/kindergarten programs around our area. The following is information gathered from Jamie’s lectures.

Speech pathologists are often portrayed as the ones who “fix the sounds”. There is no doubt we spend time working on the “r” sounds, a lisp, or a number of other sounds. Those sounds, however, are only a small percentage of our qualifications. 

What about language and literacy? Are they related? What do speech pathologists know about language and  literacy?

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Language and literacy is a symbiotic relationship. These skills develop together. Research shows  that children who enter school with strong oral language skills learn to read and write easier and excel in school related to their peers who struggle with language skills.

Language disorders are seen in as many as 1 in every 5 children. Research indicates that the majority of children with language disorders will go on to having reading difficulties or disorders. 

What does early language and literacy development look like?

AGE

LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

12-18 mos.

Rapid language acquisition & word explosion

  • Enjoys books as toys
  • Likes to turn pages
  • Loves predictable stories
  • Points out familiar objects in pictures
  • Likes the same book over and over

18-24 mos.

Rapidly expanding word base and word combinations

  • Chooses books
  • Knows that books go front to back and right side up-will orient a book
  • Loves predictable repetitive stories
  • Will fill in words

24-36 mos.

Awareness of sentence structure and vocabulary continues to explode

  • Will correct adult if story is read differently
  • Will fill in words or attempt to tell story
  • Likes repetition and predictability in stories

3-4 years

Uses complex sentences & understands word structure (tense)

  • Understands that words may be changed and manipulated
  • Rhyming and word play
  • Recognizes name in print
  • Recognizes environmental symbols

4-5 years

Clearly communicates about remote events

  • Simple sound letter correspondence
  • Letters have meaning
  • Experimental writing, spelling, and story telling

There are five predictors of literacy success.

1. Oral Language

2. Alphabet Awareness

3. Phonemic Awareness

4. Concepts About Print

5. Early Writing With Inventive Spelling

A professor in early childhood education describes these predictors in detail in this You Tube video.

 

 

 

 

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Language and Literacy

Emergent literacy begins at a very young age. When babies turn pages in books, when toddlers scribble on paper, and when preschoolers recognize signs and logos are all part of emergent literacy. It is very important to begin reading when your child is very young. Research has linked early exposure to books and stories to learning to read and to academic success.
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Reading to your child is linked to increased language and literacy skills. You can find more about the research here. Children are exposed to wide variety of words through books that they would not learn through typical conversation. In addition to language and literacy growth, book sharing is a great bonding time with your child.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends reading daily to your child beginning at six months of age. It is good to try to read together for fifteen minutes each day. According to a study from the National Commission on Reading, reading aloud to children is the single most important intervention for developing literacy skills.

How do you read to a baby? Use simple picture books with few words. Good book choices for babies include Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, and Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. While book sharing, talk about the pictures. Use different voices or sing to increase attention during reading time.

Engage your preschool or elementary age child in the reading. Let the child have choices in choosing the reading source. Be expressive when you read stories. Talk about what you are reading. Ask what will the story be about, what will happen next, how does the character feel, what was your favorite part of the story, etc. Let him/her “read” to you. This will help build self-esteem and confidence.

Some of my favorite children’s books include: Pete the Cat Series, Llama Llama series, Dr. Suess books, David Shannon books, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs, Down By The Cool Of The Pool, Hush, Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type, My Friend Rabbit, The Giving Tree.

Offer a variety of reading sources for your child. Some of my children’s favorite books are science books about space and weather. Picture books, magazines, encyclopedias, are all great reading sources. Put children’s books where your child can easily access them.
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There are inexpensive ways to increase your child’s library. Lego offers a free children’s magazine. Scholastic offers $1-2 books. You can check out several books at a time at your local library. Your library and local bookstores should also offer story times geared for your child’s age group too.

Go have fun reading with your favorite little ones!