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Reading at Home

Oral language is the foundation of strong reading skills. Reading books to your child, talking about the books you read and telling stories in English or your home language or dialect will help develop their vocabulary and oral language skills. 


Families and Caregivers can help build early reading skills by:
  • Playing with language 
    • Clapping syllables (e.g. “How many syllables are in the word grandma? Two!” Tip: Encourage your child to place their hand just under their chin. Each syllable causes the mouth to open and their chin will touch their hand) 
    • Breaking words up into individual sounds (e.g. “How many sounds do you hear in the word cat? /c/../a/../t/. Three!”)
  • Helping children learn sound letter associations (e.g., what sound does your name start with? What letter?) 
  • Modelling how to blend sounds together into words when reading (e.g., /c/../a/../t/ is cat) 
  • Modelling and helping children sound words out 
  • Discussing the meaning of words and stories 
  • Reading books together and talking about the books you’ve read. Ask questions such as:
    • What was your favourite part? Why? 
    • What did this book remind you of? 
    • How did the story make you feel? Why?
Additional resources to support oral language development at home:
  • Helping children chunk longer words and talk about meanings. (e.g., com…mun…i…ty, let’s sound out each part and put them together) 
  • Reading together, making inferences (e.g., “What do you think the character in the story will do next? What makes you think that?”), asking questions about the topics you are reading about, and connecting ideas from the text to their lived experiences.