Pre-Reading SkillsPre-reading skills are the skills children need in order to help them to become a reader. Many of these skills are learnt naturally, during the course of a normal childhood, at home and in the nursery/preschool environment. By talking and reading with your child, you will be doing a great deal to help these essential skills to develop. | Matching: When we read, part of what we do involves matching. Children learn to match shapes, patterns, letters and, finally, words. |
| Rhyming: Research shows that children who can understand about rhyming words have a head start in learning to read and, even more, to spell. |
| Letter skills: As well as recognising letter shapes, learning the most common sounds that each letter makes will give children a head start. |
| Direction: Print goes from left to right, so children will need to be familiar with where to start each line and which direction to go in. |
| Motor skills: Practicing writing letters and words as they learn to read them will help it all to sink in, so a good pencil grip and control is useful. |
| Concepts of print: This is all about knowing how to handle books - holding them the right way up, turning the pages in sequence, exploring the pictures, knowing that the words can be read to tell a story. |
| Language skills: The more experience children have of language, the more easily they will learn to read. Your child needs to hear and join in conversations (with adults and children), and listen to stories and poetry of all sorts. |
Despite the importance of all of these skills, it is an inescapable fact that they will be practised and improved by learning to read. There is no need to delay reading until your child passes a test in 'reading readiness'. If they start pretending to read, or asking questions, such as "What does that word say?", "What letter is that?", this is a more certain sign that they are ready to read. However, they won't be asking questions like that if...