According to a new study from
, calling attention to the words and
letters when reading to pre-school-age children, helps them become better
readers in the future. America
The two-year study found that children whose teachers most often discussed the print in books showed higher skills in reading, spelling and understanding.
I found this absolutely fascinating so I have been trying it out when reading to S (3). I must say it is not something that comes intuitively - I had to consciously make the effort as it feels much more natural to point at the pictures (or not even do that and just read the story!).
Apparently there are different ways you can focus on the text such as pointing out words, tracing letters with your finger, or talking about how words are written from left to right.
S is at the very early stages of learning her alphabet and has recently discovered that her own name begins with S and can recognise a ‘squiqqly S’ as she calls it. So naturally she has really enjoyed seeing Ss on the page and me telling her which words start with S. This has been a good introduction to this technique but despite its value, it does tend to disrupt the flow of the story so I think it’s probably better suited to daytime reading rather than bedtime stories when I’m trying to settle her down for a sleep. Alas, we do most of our reading at bedtime because I work full-time but I'll definitely try to do this as much as possible.