Children that are read to learn that symbols on the page hold meaning. They learn to hold a book, care for a book, how to read from left to right, and how to turn pages. Most importantly they associate books with pleasure.
For struggling readers the anxiety of having to decode is eliminated. They can relax and enjoy being read to. It sparks imagination and visualization.
Children that are read to begin to learn Concepts of Print and equate reading with comfort as well as enjoyment. Read aloud to your child every opportunity you get.
Concepts of Print refers to the awareness of ‘how print works’. This includes the knowledge of the concept of what books, print, and written language are, and how they function. It encompasses a number of understandings that allow the reading process to take place including: understanding that print conveys a message.
Concepts of print include:
- Reading from left to right (Different languages have different concepts of print. For example, Arabic and Hebrew read from right to left while English, Spanish and French all read left to right).
- Reading from top to bottom
- The fact that letters and words convey a message.
- Print is what we read.
- The “return sweep”, to move from one line to the next
- Illustrations in a book correspond to the print
- Every book as a front, back, and an author
Research tells us that students who are read to are more successful in early literacy skills. For students who lack this support, it is essential that teachers provide read aloud in the classroom.