5 Pre-Reading Skills Your Child Needs

5 Pre-Reading Skills Your Child Needs

Way before children begin to recognize their ABCs, they start picking up skills that help them to read. These are called pre-reading skills. Children with strong pre-reading skills have a more enjoyable experience when they begin learning to read as they already have the skills necessary for reading. Here are 5 pre-reading skills that I have personally seen to be crucial:

Awareness of sounds
Your child responds when music is played or a sound is made. They recognize familiar, everyday sounds (e.g. alarm clock going off, car driving past, telephone ringing). They can imitate sounds and words heard. They recognize words that rhyme (e.g. laughs when you say rhymes or able to play rhyming games with you). They can recognize syllables (e.g clap twice when they hear 'daddy', clap once when they hear 'hat'). At the more advanced level, they can say the beginning and ending sounds of words (e.g. say 'kuh' for cake and 'ssss' for sun.

Awareness of symbols carrying meanings
Your child understand that written symbols have meanings. They see a red 'STOP' sign and learns that mommy stops her car at the sign. They see 'Youtube' app on daddy's mobile phone and know it's the button to click for videos. They may start doodling and giving meaning to their drawings ("This is grandpa. This is grandpa's house"). Older kids may begin recognizing shapes and even their own name.  

Awareness of books
Your child is excited about books. Your child knows how to hold a book. They pick out their favourite books to be read. They may be able to point out the title. They may pretend to read. They may read along with you. After re-reading the same books for a while, they may even recognize a few words and can read them independently. They know that pictures in a book are meaningful to the story.  

Vocabulary
Your child knows a lot of words in their mother tongue as well as the language that they will be reading. Your child can name familiar objects and hold conversations. If you are raising a bilingual, one language may dominate and that is okay. Just give your child plenty of exposure to both languages.

Narrative Skills
Your child tells stories. They can talk about recent trip to the toy store. They talk about their pets. They retell stories. Their stories have recognizable beginning, middle and ending. They can describe what food, toys, activities they want.