The Pre-Reading Stage in Children

The pre-reading stage is one of the most precious and important stages in children's development. In the following article, we'll tell you what you need to know. Take note!
The Pre-Reading Stage in Children

Last update: 09 November, 2019

Before children begin to read, they develop a set of pre-reading abilities that involve early signs of literacy. These signs represent the first step to learning how to read and embark on this passionate world of reading. This period is known as the pre-reading stage, and today we’ll tell you how to encourage reading skills in small children. Take note!

It’s true that every child develops at his or her own rhythm. That being said, there are common reading preparation abilities that little ones develop according to their age. These pre-reading abilities help parents and educators know how to accompany their children’s development. At the same time, they serve as an alert for any reading skill or issue that may require additional attention.

However, it’s best not to pressure children too much when it comes to developing these habits. Pressuring kids can actually turn out to be counterproductive and delay their learning. What’s more, it may keep them from enjoying reading later on in life.

In fact, most babies love it when others read to them. Therefore, establishing a daily bedtime story routine isn’t just a way to build strong bonds with your little ones. It’s also a way to boost children’s emotional and cognitive development and the acquisition of necessary language skills.

Reading abilities during the pre-reading stage

In short, the abilities pertaining to the pre-reading stage are the ones that children need in order to learn to read. These are aspects that relieve the stress and difficulty that they may experience during this learning phase.

Helping children develop necessary skills during the pre-reading stage is one of the best things parents can do. Their interventions will make the experience of learning to read a simpler and more enjoyable one.

There are six primary pre-reading skills that children develop before and during the pre-school stage. If they learn these skills properly, then later learning will be much easier. These skills are the following:

1. Motivation

This simply means that little ones are enthusiastic and interested in reading booksIn order for this to happen, parents must set the right example by reading in front of their kids. You can do this with any document that’s visible to your children. In fact, a simple shopping list, recipe, or email will suffice to show little ones that you also enjoy reading.

The Pre-reading Stage in Children

2. Narrative skills

Having narrative abilities means being able to describe things and retell the events of a story. However, for small children, this can simply mean repeating the names of the main objects and characters they see in pictures.

3. Awareness of print

Awareness of print means that children should comprehend that each word on a page represents a spoken word. This is a fundamental part of the pre-reading stage. What’s more, it also means knowing how to handle a book. In other words, which side the cover is on, how to read a book, and how to turn its pages.

4. Vocabulary

Vocabulary simply means knowing the names of things and connecting them with objects, feelings, and ideas. Sometimes, this refers to the oral language skills that a child possesses.

5. Phonological awareness

Phonological awareness is what precedes phonetics. It involves discovering words, knowing that words are composed of smaller sounds, and that reproducing these individual sounds produces words.

6. Knowledge of letters

Knowledge of words is another ability that develops during the pre-reading stage. It involves understanding that letters are different from one another and have their own name and sound(s). This involves every aspect of helping children identify the names and sounds of each letter.

Tips for learning how to read

Telling stories about images

Encourage your child to create stories based on random images. It doesn’t matter whether you use a photograph or an advertisement from a magazine. Ask your child who the characters are, what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it.

The Pre-reading Stage in Children

Sentences and common words

Use strips with sentences or pieces of cardboard to write the names of common household items. Make a game, taping one set of strips to items in your home and give another set to your child to play with. Don’t force your child to match the two sets.

Rather, the idea is for little ones to become familiar with the aspect of the words for common items. That way, they’ll come to make the connection on their own. It won’t take long before your child shows you that he or she recognizes the words that appear around your home.

The use of magnetic letters

Investing in a few sets of magnetic letters is one of the best options for kids to learn how to read. But first, let your child play freely with the letters and become familiar with them. Make sure that all of the vowels are the same color. In the beginning, you can simply allow your child to learn the names of the letters and what they look like.

In conclusion, as you can see, there are many things that parents can do to encourage learning during the pre-reading stage. Without a doubt, with a bit of effort and patience, you’ll give your children the tools they need to discover the wonderful world of reading.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.