The more you read, the more you know.
The more you learn, the more places you´ll go.
- Dr Seuss.
The importance of early literacy & books
especially with ESL-Learners!
Stories are a fundamental part of introducing key skills that are linked to reading, writing, spelling, language acquisition and comprehension. Here are some of the proven benefits of regularly reading aloud to young children:
1) Create a love of literacy.
2) Increase listening and reading skills.
3) Raise awareness of the different sounds in different languages.
4) Reinforce the relationship between the printed word and meaning.
5) Create a bond between educator and child.
6) Stimulate creativity and imagination.
7) Build on language (and second language) skills.
8) Introduce a wealth of vocabulary. 8) Help build language comprehension relating to reading comprehension.
9) Improve pronunciation and intonation of languages.
10) Create an awareness of life experiences.
11) Introduce universal concepts (cultures/beliefs).
12) Improve visual memory.
13) Help social and emotional development.
Children should be read to on a daily a basis from as early as possible. Many specialists recommend a daily target of between 2-3 stories per day (either/and at home or school).
Educators should aim for at least one story at the beginning or end of their session and ideally, the same story can be read both at the beginning and end of their session.
Offer opportunities to open a dialogue with the children by pointing out the different vocabulary illustrated through pictures and images in the books, saying the words to the children and asking them to repeat the words with them.
Ask questions during the story or at the end of the story, which also gives the students the opportunity to explore new concepts or vocabulary. Very Young Learners need plenty of repetition in order to embed the concepts or language that they learn in class and at home.
Reading fewer books repeatedly and frequently at this stage is preferable to many different stories infrequently. Children who are learning a second language will need lots of exposure to their second language.
Stories, songs, rhymes, chants and oral activities (both in their first and second language) will help to increase language acquisition, comprehension and pronunciation skills in both languages.