This term covers all the areas a child needs to get ready to read. It includes important skills like oral language and phonological and phonemic awareness (the awareness of sounds), as well as knowledge of the alphabet and an understanding of common print concepts (print goes from left to right and from up to down on a page, how to hold a book).
A child that has been identified with a speech and/or language impairment (SLI) can be at a higher risk for having reading difficulties. Studies have indicated that as many as 40-75% of children with SLI will have problems learning to read.
A speech language pathologist (SLP) can help not only in the development of oral language but in the following areas as well:
1. Print Motivation
Get excited about what you are reading to a child, enthusiasm is contagious. Talk about why you like the book and what you like about it. Be animated. Let him know that it was your favorite when you were a child or that you read it to your little girl. Help them to make an emotional connection.
2. Print Awareness
When using books in therapy to help develop vocabulary and sequencing skills, take this time to point out the title and the author. Let the child turn the pages. Track with your finger under the words as you read them.
Help kids play with sounds to help them understand that words are made up of smaller sounds. Sing songs, read books with rhymes. Play a funny rhyming game with their names.
Need I say more? As SLP’s we are all about expanding vocabulary. Label the pictures. Talk about some words that you think might be unfamiliar. When you come across those words in the text, ask if they know what it means. If not, talk about the words and place them in a familiar context.
5. Narrative skills
Ask questions about the story that can’t be answered with yes or no. Ask him to retell the story; if this is too hard provide a scaffold by asking questions or giving choices.
6. Letter Knowledge
Learning about letters and know what sounds they make is so much fun. Help kids get excited about recognizing the first letter in their name and make a game of looking for letters in their environment. Make playing with letters fun and multi-sensory.
Learning the letters of the alphabet is a big part of Kindergarten. It can be challenging to incorporate the repetition kids need and to keep them interested.
I created this Letter Recognition and Sound game to do just that. It’s an engaging, colorful activity with two levels of play. Students can apply their knowledge of letters and letter sounds as they play games and interact with letters by flipping over the cards and building a smores.
Smores are available by clicking on this link to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.
So there you have it…6 Ways an SLP can help with preliteracy skills and have fun doing it!
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