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Update from Our Speech Therapy Intern Vanessa Athanas

Update from Our Speech Therapy Intern Vanessa Athanas
Posted on 12/28/2016
MAKE THE MOST OF READING WITH YOUR CHILD

Hello Peabody School! My name is Vanessa Athanas, I am a graduate student in Speech-Language Pathology who worked at the Peabody Elementary School this fall. Throughout my coursework and clinical experience, I’ve gained valuable knowledge about language and literacy development. Reading together as a family is not only a great way to spend time together, it also supports the development of literacy and language skills in young students. There are a number of things you can do to make reading together a rich learning experience:
  1. POINT TO THE TEXT AS YOU READ
    By simply pointing to the text within a story you are bringing the child’s attention to the letters and words on the page. Research has shown that pointing to the text has helped young students show larger gains in alphabet knowledge, name writing and print concept knowledge.
  2. TALK ABOUT THE STORY
    Asking open-ended questions can help your child think more critically about the story content and characters. Simply by asking, “What’s going to happen next?” you are providing your child an opportunity to make inferences about the story.
  3. REPEAT READINGS OF STORIES
    Reading the same book multiple times helps to solidify the a child’s memory of the story.
  4. DON’T DISCOUNT PICTURE BOOKS
    Children’s books with minimal text are still a great resource. They require more conversation between the parent and child about what is happening in the illustrations. In fact, picture books can be a great option for families who speak multiple languages within the home. The focus when reading picture books is more on the development of language rather than reading skills. Providing an opportunity to describe what is happening in the picture and creating your own story can be just as valuable!
References:

Justice, L. M., Kaderavek, J. N., Fan, X., Sofka, A., & Hunt, A. (2009). Accelerating preschoolers' early literacy development through classroom-based teacher–child storybook reading and explicit print referencing. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 40(1), 67-85.

Justice, L. M., McGinty, A. S., Piasta, S. B., Kaderavek, J. N., & Fan, X. (2010). Print-focused read-alouds in preschool classrooms: Intervention effectiveness and moderators of child outcomes. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41(4), 504-520.