Oral language development is a crucial foundation for later reading success. The skills that children learn through speaking, listening, and interacting with others help lay the groundwork for their reading and writing skills.
Benefits of good oral language skills
Good oral language skills are not only important for success in school, but they also have numerous benefits for children’s overall development.
Children with strong oral language skills tend to have better communication skills, higher self-esteem, and higher academic achievement. They are also more likely to be successful in social situations and have positive relationships with their peers.
It is critical for parents to be proactive in supporting their children when they begin to learn English at home. This will ensure that they have the best possible start in life.
Why are oral language skills important?
Oral language skills, such as listening, speaking, and understanding, are important foundations for reading and writing.
These skills help children develop their vocabulary, phonological awareness, and comprehension skills, which are all essential for reading and writing success.
Listening skills help children understand what others are saying and follow instructions. This is important for following along with stories and learning new words and concepts.
Speaking skills, on the other hand, help children express themselves and communicate their ideas and thoughts to others. This is important for participating in conversation and expressing themselves in writing.
Understanding skills, or comprehension, help children make sense of what they hear and read. This is essential for comprehending stories and texts.
In addition to these skills, children also need to have a strong vocabulary and phonological awareness to be successful readers and writers.
Vocabulary refers to the words and phrases that children know and understand, and it is important for children to have a wide range of words in their vocabulary to understand and express themselves in reading and writing.
Phonological awareness refers to the ability to hear and manipulate the sounds in language, and it is important for children to develop this skill in order to learn phonics and sound out words when reading.
Overall, oral language skills are important foundations for reading and writing success. By supporting their children’s language development, parents can help their children become confident and skilled readers and writers.
What can I do to support my child?
There are many strategies that parents and caregivers can use to support oral language development in children. Some of these strategies include:
- Talking in English: One of the most effective ways to support oral language development is by talking to children and engaging in conversations with them. Children learn new words and language structures by listening to and interacting with others. Therefore, it is important for parents to provide their children with opportunities to listen to and participate in language-rich conversations.
- Reading in English frequently: Reading to children is an important way to support their oral language development. Reading to children exposes them to new vocabulary and language structures, and it also helps them develop their listening and comprehension skills. Parents can make reading time even more enriching by asking open-ended questions and engaging in discussions about the books they read together.
- Encouraging your children to speak in English: Parents can encourage their children to speak by providing them with opportunities to use language. For example, parents can ask their children to describe their day or ask for things in English. Parents can also encourage children to ask questions and express their ideas and thoughts.
- Playing language-rich games: Parents can support their children’s oral language development by playing language-rich games with them, such as “I Spy”. These games can help children practice their listening and speaking skills in a fun and engaging way.
- Engaging in language-rich activities: Parents can also support their children’s oral language development by engaging in language-rich activities, such as role-play, storytelling, or acting out stories. These activities can help children practice their language skills and use their imaginations to create and express ideas.
How can I use those strategies at home?
Here are some tips for incorporating oral language development into daily routines and play:
- Set aside time for conversation and reading such as on the way to school, at meal times or before bed. This can help ensure that your child has regular opportunities to engage in language-rich experiences.
- Look for opportunities to incorporate language-rich activities into playtime such as by using toys and materials that encourage language use or by engaging in role-play activities.
- Encourage your child to express themselves and communicate their ideas and thoughts by asking open-ended questions and providing opportunities for children to talk about their interests and experiences.
- Use language-rich materials such as books, videos, and music that expose children to a variety of language structures and vocabulary.
- Encourage your child to ask questions and express their curiosity by providing them with a variety of age-appropriate materials to explore the world around them.
By incorporating these strategies into daily routines and play, you can support your children’s language development and help them become confident and skilled communicators.