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Ways to Develop Language Skills

Learning how to read is an important milestone in children’s lives. As parents, we want to start teaching our kids how to read right away, but there are things that we need to do before to help them become successful readers. Before children can learn how to read, they need to build the foundation and develop pre-reading skills including Language Skills.


Ways to Develop Language Skills


Ways to Develop Language Skills:

What are Language Skills:

Having language skills means that children have the ability to speak and to listen. In order to learn how to read, children need oral language skills and the ability to communicate so they can describe the things they are hearing in stories and share their knowledge and ideas. Children also need to listening comprehension so they understand what they are hearing when be spoken to or listening to stories. Studies have shown that children who are read to and spoken with during early childhood will have better vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension skills. 




Ways to Develop Oral Language Skills:

There are many things that you can do to help your children develop oral language skills including:

Retell the Story: Whether you ask your children to tell you what happened in the book that you just read to them or what Ryder and the pups did on the latest episode of Paw Patrol, your kids will working on their language skills. Retelling a book in sequential order and describing the events in the story will help your children improve their comprehension too.


Pre-Reading Skills


Ask Questions: While you are reading to your kids, ask them simple questions about the characters, setting, and other story elements. You can also ask them open-ended questions such as “what do you think will happen next?” and higher-level thinking questions like “is there a better solution to the problem?”


Pre-Reading Skills


Create a Story: A great way for kids to develop their language skills and use their imaginations is to make-up their own story. For even more fun, they can use puppets, a flannel board, or other props to help them create and describe what is happening. You can record their story for a keepsake of them becoming readers and writers! 


Oral Language Skills


Ways to Improve Listening Comprehension Skills:

Play Games: Not only will playing games with your children help them improve their oral language skills, but they will be able to work on their listening comprehension too. Games like Simon Says, Guess Who, and even Go Fish give your kids have to listen and comprehend to your questions and answers. 


Language Skills


Listen to Audio Books: As you listen to audio books together, you can show your children how to be active listeners by sharing your reactions to the story including verbal or facial expressions. Not only can you ask them questions while you are listening,  but you can also model how to answer comprehension questions about a story.


Listening Comprehension Skills


Follow Directions: Practice listening comprehension by giving your children simple directions that they have to follow around the house or classroom. You can start with one or two-step directions and then add more steps as their listening comprehension develops. There are also following direction workbooks with fun exercises to practice listening. 


Language Skills


Oral language and listening comprehension are important Language Skills that your pre-readers need to practice and develop before learning how to read!


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Ways to Develop Language Skills


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Language skills is one of the 5 Pre-Reading Skills Kids Need To Be Successful Readers. Learn more about the other pre-reading skills: