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Your child's greatest asset: the ability to read

It has been a wonderful first semester in the Education Support Department.


I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the new students and also spending time with familiar faces. As an Education Support Teacher, I feel that the greatest asset for a child is the ability to read. Not only to read fluently, but also for understanding and enjoyment. There are many benefits for children to spend time reading at school and at home, but an integral part of learning to read is for children to be read to.


Modelled reading by an adult supports a variety of skills that the children use when learning to read. Firstly, it supports their cognitive development. It improves their ability to think and understand. When an adult reads to a child it develops areas of learning such as processing skills, language development, memory, reasoning and general knowledge about the world around them.


When children hear reading being modelled, they learn about intonation as they listen to the rise and fall of the voice. This also trains them to pause at commas, stop at full stops, and be more aware of punctuation. They learn how it should sound when they read aloud. When they get read to they build their vocabulary and literacy skills, and this enables them to learn to read with more ease.


Children also get prepared for academic success when they are read to. It is an opportunity for them to develop phonemic awareness by being exposed to sounds in words, they learn phonics by connecting the letters to certain sounds and their vocabulary increases. They also improve their understanding of the text with better reading comprehension and learn how to read fluently. When children listen to stories, they learn to concentrate for extended amounts of time and also improve their imagination and creativity.


Besides the academic benefits, it is also a special bonding time to spend with your child. You will be nurturing their future love of reading and books.


(Some information drawn from the children’s Bureau website www.all4kids.org)


Jenni de Villiers
Education Support Coordinator

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