English at home Literacy Reading

Reading Skills for Children Learning English

Learning to read is an important milestone for children, and this is especially true for children learning English as a foreign language (EFL).

Reading is a complex skill that requires the development of a range of abilities, including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension.

By developing these skills at an early age, children can lay the foundation for success in reading and language learning.

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in spoken words, It is one of the most important early emergent reading skills for children learning English as a foreign language.

This skill is important because it helps children to understand that words are made up of individual sounds that can be combined to create meaning.

To develop phonemic awareness, children can participate in activities such as rhyming, syllable segmentation, and sound matching.


Another important early reading skill is phonics, which is the understanding that letters represent specific sounds and that these sounds can be combined to form words.

Children learning EFL may struggle with phonics due to the differences between the phonetic systems of English and their native language.

To support the development of phonics skills, parents can help their child learn the sounds associated with each letter of the alphabet and practice blending sounds to read simple words.


Vocabulary is another crucial aspect of early reading skills. Children who know more words are better able to understand and learn new concepts, and having a strong vocabulary can also help with comprehension.

To support the development of vocabulary, parents can read with their child regularly and discuss the meaning of new words as they encounter them. It can also be helpful to provide definitions and explanations in the child’s native language to support understanding.


Finally, comprehension is the ability to understand and make sense of what you read.

To support comprehension, parents can ask their child questions about the text as they read, and encourage them to make connections between the story and their own experiences.

It can also be helpful to provide context and background knowledge about the topic being discussed in the text.