Facts about the importance of language and reading
- Ninety percent of a child’s brain growth occurs during birth and 4 years of age, so it is suggested that parents begin reading to their child at birth.
- When we read picture books to children, researchers have found that 95 percent of their attention is on the pictures. By occasionally pointing to the words in the book, you are helping them realize that it is the text we are reading, not the pictures.
- Research has shown that children who play with sounds of words in the preschool years are better prepared to read when they get to school.
- The language used in story books is different from what we use when we are speaking. Stories also have a certain structure with a beginning, middle and an end.
- Reading aloud introduces the patterns of language and develops vocabulary.
- Reading to a child just 20 minutes each day will enable him or her to hear 1 million words in a year and will expand his or her vocabulary by 1,000 words.
- Acting out stories or parts of them, having young children use their whole bodies, helps them internalize and understand what is happening in the story.
- Reading aloud helps a child develop a longer attention span and encourages the art of listening.
- Sharing stories introduces and keeps alive the cultural heritage of our own traditional tales and those of other cultures.
- Rhyming is one way that children learn to hear that words are made up of smaller parts.
- Writing can be very motivating. It helps children make the connection between the spoken and the written word. Writing begins with scribbles and develops into the ability to write letters.
- By using specific names for things, like cat and kitten, not only helps children learn new words, it also helps them understand differences between similar things.