Language and Literacy Hand in Hand
Jane Farrall, a speech pathologist and special educator, emphasises the importance of language and literacy development in students. Emergent literacy, the knowledge and skills developed before conventional reading and writing, is crucial in a child’s literacy development. Shared reading is a key activity for promoting emergent literacy, teaching vocabulary and language skills. The Magnificent Seven of Shared Reading is a set of strategies to enhance the shared reading experience. Shared reading also provides an opportunity to build alphabet knowledge and an understanding of rhyme. It’s important to engage students with books they love and in different formats. Emergent writing, literacy development and communication development are interconnected. An individualised approach to literacy instruction is recommended, based on the student’s unique needs and abilities. Students ready for conventional instruction know most letters, have a communication system, engage with books during shared reading, and understand that print is made up of letters and words. Guidelines should be set for shared reading with multiple children at different levels.
In this talk, Jane Farrall, a speech pathologist and special educator with a passion for literacy and AAC, discusses the importance of language and literacy development for all students. With over 25 years of experience in the disability and assistive technology field, Jane shares her expertise on how to promote emergent literacy skills through shared reading and AAC.
Emergent literacy refers to the knowledge and skills that develop before conventional reading and writing. It is a crucial stage in a child’s literacy development. Shared reading, writing, alphabet knowledge, print awareness, phonological awareness, and oral language are the six key components of emergent literacy.
Shared reading is an important activity for promoting emergent literacy. It provides an opportunity to teach vocabulary and language skills. Comment, ask, respond (CAR) is a strategy used in shared reading, which involves making comments, asking questions, and responding to the learner’s contributions. AAC can be used in shared reading to model language and engage the learner.
The Magnificent Seven of Shared Reading
The Magnificent Seven of Shared Reading is a set of strategies that can enhance the shared reading experience. These strategies include crowd in car, ask, make it real, link to letters, rhyme and sounds, teach vocabulary, and strategic competence. Strategic competence refers to the ability to make the best use of the words in an AAC system.
Teaching Vocabulary and Strategic Competence
Shared reading is an opportunity to teach vocabulary and strategic competence. Teaching vocabulary can be done by teaching the concept behind a word rather than just using the word itself. Strategic competence involves using vocabulary effectively, such as using different words to describe something when the exact word is not available in the AAC system.
Building Alphabet Knowledge and Rhyme
Shared reading also provides a chance to build alphabet knowledge and an understanding of rhyme. These skills are important for later reading and writing development.
Engaging Students with Books
It is important to find books that students love and engage with. Props can be used to make books more interesting and engaging for students with sensory needs. Providing books in different formats and allowing students to browse and choose their own books can also enhance their literacy experience.
There are three types of emergent writing: writing with adults, writing with letters and sounds, and independent writing. Writing with adults focuses on generating language and seeing adults use print. Writing with letters and sounds focuses on letter knowledge and phonological awareness. Independent writing allows students to choose their own books and engage with them independently.
Literacy Development and Communication Development
Literacy development and communication development go hand in hand. By fostering literacy skills, we also promote communication skills, and vice versa.
Individualized Approach to Literacy Instruction
There is no one right approach to teaching literacy. It depends on the individual student and their unique needs and abilities. Balanced assessment is considered best practice for literacy instruction.
Readiness for Conventional Instruction
Students who know most of the letters most of the time, have a communication system, engage with books during shared reading, and understand that print is made up of letters and words are ready for conventional instruction.
Guidelines for Shared Reading with Multiple Children
When conducting shared reading with multiple children at different levels, it is important to set guidelines to ensure that each child is appropriately engaged and challenged.
Expressive Level for Students with Varying Expressive Abilities
For students with varying expressive abilities, the expressive level can be chosen based on their highest level of expressive communication.
In conclusion, language and literacy development are crucial for all students. Through shared reading, AAC, and individualized instruction, we can promote emergent literacy skills and empower students to become confident readers and writers.
- Title: Language and Literacy Hand in Hand
- Author(s): Jane Farrall
- Author(s)’ affiliation: None
- Publication date: 2019-01-10
- Collection: 2018 FAST Educational Summit