The dictionary says that “Reading” is the process of looking at a written series of symbols and getting the meaning from them. We receive written symbols such as letters, punctuation marks, and spaces with our eyes when we read, and we use our brain to convert them into words, sentences, and paragraphs that communicate something to us.
So, basically, the whole process of looking at written symbols and letters and understanding their meaning is called reading. It is one of the four main language skills alongside listening, speaking, and writing. Reading is the third language skill that a person learns in their respective native language – it comes after listening and speaking. That is the reading skills definition for you in a nutshell.
Reading to young children is important to help them build language skills. It exposes them to new words and helps them learn ways of using language. It also helps children learn general information about the world, which makes it easier for them to learn about new subjects when they get to school.
Mentioned below are some benefits of reading because reading helps to strengthen the brain, and widens the vocabulary that aids the ability to comprehend information.
Benefits of reading
- Increase your vocabulary and comprehension skills.
- Reduce stress.
- Help you prepare to sleep.
- Prevents cognitive decline.
- Helps to lead a happier and meaningful life.
Today we will take a peek at what are Pre-reading skills for kids? In simple words, pre-reading skills are the skills a child needs in their arsenal before they learn to read. These are things that will ease the stress and difficulty of learning to read when they begin formal education when enrolled in school.
Pre-reading skills are the skills that help children to become the reader that they need to be. Many of these skills are learnt naturally, during the course of a normal childhood, at home and in the nursery or in preschool environment.
So, one may ask what are the elements of pre-reading? Well, children will learn five very important pre-reading skills:
- Print Awareness,
- Phonological Awareness,
- Letter Knowledge,
- Listening Comprehension,
- Motivation to Read.
These skills lay the foundation for learning to read and put to use the reading skills definition.
Reading skills for kids and pre-reading activities can include simple things such as reviewing pictures and figures, jotting down key words and preparing simple questions that will supplement the understanding of the main text. Because as in life, we often get overwhelmed by the amount of text and reading material one has to go through but being able to segregate it will ease out the experience.
People often ask what is pre-reading and what are the stages of teaching it? In the pre-reading stage, a person prepares children for reading. In addition, according to some research, previewing the text can increase a reader’s involvement with the text and serve as a setup with the sole purpose of deciding a written or mental goal for reading.
Mentioned below are four phases of reading as children progress through four distinct stages of reading development:
- Emergent reading,
- Early reading,
- Transitional reading,
- Fluent reading.
Now that we know so much about Pre-reading, let us understand the effects of reading skills. Research has shown that pre-reading strategies influence a child’s motivation. We can use them as a tool to increase comprehension. Failure to teach kids reading skills has other implications that determine the necessity of pre-reading strategies for children, especially those with disabilities, to comprehend texts at instructional levels.
Here are some pre-reading skills and pre-reading activities for kids.
- Read to children every day. It is never too early to start reading to your children but can be too late to start doing so.
- Asking questions while reading will help a child summarize and relate to the context, and relaying the information becomes a vital learning step.
- Point out print in the environment. Environmental prints are seen in everyday life. For example brand logos, labels, street signs, and many others, helping children recognize these signs and features help them to be vigilant and pay attention to their surroundings.
- Learn the letters. Learning letters is strongly related to a child’s ability to remember the very form of written words and to have the ability to treat words as sequences of those letters.
- Learn rhymes and poems. Nursery rhymes provide bite-sized learning opportunities for young children to develop key developmental skills, it is a powerful learning source in early literacy and enables children to become interested in the rhythm and patterns of language.
- Play rhyming games. Rhymes can help children recognize sounds in words.
Now that we know so much about pre-reading skills, one may ask how a child learns these skills. Well, kids can learn by simply playing with magnetic letters, or foam letters. Read alphabet books to kids as often as possible. Point out letters anywhere around you and your child for example a store, a park or a stop sign. Show your child different letters and ask them if they are the same or to point out the difference. These simple but very effective ways of teaching kids the pre-reading skills that they need.
The four pre-reading strategies include: preview, predict, prior knowledge, and purpose. One can remember these steps by thinking of them as the ‘4 Ps to teaching pre-reading skills. The goal is for kids to eventually make it a habit of these practices, so that they become a natural part of their reading life. Also remember Print awareness which is the understanding that letters form words and that these words have meaning when they are read.
Mentioned below are a few Pre-reading activities for kids:
- Motivation to Read.
- Listening Comprehension.
- Letter Knowledge.
- Phonological Awareness.
The five stages of literacy development include: emergent literacy, alphabetic fluency, words and patterns, intermediate reading, and advanced reading all of these are vital for the pre-reading strategy where learning approaches are designed to help kids with structure, guidance, and some background knowledge before they begin exploring a new text and context. These strategies target a child’s reading comprehension skills by giving them the tools they need to become active, and skillful readers.
Here are some simple Pre-reading activities to teach children reading skills:
- Story Time.
- Label And Teach.
- Rhyming Words Game.
- Read To Your Kid.
- Alphabet Rhyme.
- Sequence It.
- Strike-Off The Words.
- Guess The Letter.
At EuroSchool, we believe parents and students should concentrate on pre-reading skills such as oral language which includes the ability to understand spoken language and speak clearly to communicate with others. We encourage the tools that can be used in conducting pre-reading such as speed chatting, we encourage parents to prepare some simple questions that are related to the topics we read to kids and allow them to sit in a discussion that encourages the learners to discuss the topic and have a brainstorming session.