Teaching Reading to Preschool Children
Phonological awareness is an important aspect in the fundamentals of reading. It is the first step in literacy. Children can learn phonological awareness in a variety of ways. Rhyming, sentence and word recognition, sound knowledge, phonemes, letter identification, spelling, and games which require active listening are a few of the techniques used by teachers in the classroom. All of these methods help in a child’s reading and speech fluency.
Teaching Preschool Children Reading
All children need to learn how to read and write in order to survive in today’s society. There have been many different methods used in order to teach phonemic awareness to preschool children. Phonemic awareness is the capability of an individual to differentiate, identify and manipulate specific sounds. An example would be a child combining and blending the sounds in the word cat. Many people believe that phonics and phonemic awareness are the same thing. However, phonic awareness is recognizing that words come from sounds with in turn make up a language. Phonics is knowing that sounds are composed of letters which compose a writing style.
In order to teach a child phonic awareness and to read, a teacher must comprehend the procedure that the brain formulates in order to understand the printed data. The brain undergoes three functions which facilitate understanding. First, there is information retention which has to deal with spurs of the environment. Second, language articulation is where a child uses prior knowledge in order to associate its meaning; and the third process is modeling and making connections with former information . Reading comprehension occurs in the frontal lobe of the brain. When this process takes place, it leads to an understanding and knowledge of what a person has seen and read. Phonological processing is a person’s ability to listen and comprehend dialect as well as printed terms. Hence, it is to say that the child recognizes the sound each letter makes. Mechanically our brain unconsciously processes verbal communication. Instantly a child gathers phonemes in order to pronounce the word and decomposes it to grasp the oral language. In contrast to speech, reading involves a child’s knowledge in the process of associating written words with the alphabet and in turn producing spoken words. Therefore, a child has to be of conscious mind in order to learn reading. A teacher must instruct a child in the phonological sequences of letters in order for the child to acquire phonological processing.
There are many different techniques a teacher can utilize in order to build phonological awareness. One technique would be merging words and sounds collectively in order to construct new words. The words composed can be silly or factual. This technique facilitates the child’s use of phonemes, which was a study conducted by McCandlies, Cohen, and Dehaene in 2003 . Having a child combine letters and then separating them is another form of building phonological awareness. It will also help them in recognizing the letters of the alphabet. Examples of the activities mentioned above are having a child say the first sound in the word “rat” and then saying each letter sound individually. Blending would consist of telling a child say ‘at’ and then stating to them to put an ‘r’ in front and say the new word. These activities can been done with a variety of materials such as chalk, boards and markers. Remember preschool children are very visual. The more movement they utilize, the better they retain the information. Image is a phonic awareness 3 letter word game. Figure 1
Many people do not see imaginative play as a means of learning. However, it is during play that children are at their most influential developmental stage according to Vygotsky, a Russian psychologist. Since the children are imaging different situations, they are associating everyday...
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