How Do Children Develop Literacy?

By superadmin on February 23, 2022 in Blog

As parents, sometimes we’re curious about what’s going on inside of our children’s heads. What are they thinking? How do they learn how to speak, read, write and listen?

Children and literacy

First, literacy is about the ability to communicate. Although often we associate literacy with the ability to read and write, it actually includes all the other dimensions of communication such as listening and speaking.

As a result, we realise that children gain and learn literacy not just in schools and early learning centres, but also in our homes and other environments. After all, literacy is actually being learned continuously through experiences. These experiences include everything that happens to a child and what he/she does.

For example, whenever we talk with children and we ask them how their day was, we actually help them further develop their listening and speaking skills (which are part of literacy). It’s an experience they can learn and benefit from, which is why it’s important that we regularly communicate with our children. It’s a form of practice where they get to further develop their language skills. Although many times they will find it hard to fully express themselves, through regular practice they will undergo improvement.

It’s through experiences and somehow the human brain makes sense of language and communication. It’s like we’re built to understand words and sentences, which is why most of us eventually learn how to speak and listen even without formal instruction. Even with just repetition of the same words, we eventually learn how to copy the pronunciation (and later associate its meaning with a person, object, place or feeling).

It’s actually a long and continuous process for learning. But for children, the pace is accelerated because of their rapid brain development. They regularly pick up words and sounds and then their brains and neurons become busy making sense of it all. In the process, neural connections form or become reinforced. Within a few years, children will have expanded their vocabulary and that will be enough to express themselves and tell a story.

The key here is practice and as parents we can facilitate that. Every day we can talk with our children and let them express themselves. It is a practical and fun way to help them further develop their literacy and communication skills.