If I asked, “What makes the Harry Potter series, Pride and Prejudice, 1984 such great books?”, most people would mention the well-developed characters, the vivid descriptions of the time and place or the fascinating storylines. Are these the core elements that make a story great? Is there a story behind every great story?
Children begin their journey into the world of literacy long before they step foot through the school gates and return home with their first “reader”. In fact, it is you, the parent, that is your child’s first teacher of reading. This does not mean becoming a Drill Sergeant and enforcing your 4 year old to write out lines or “drop and give you twenty” if they ‘read’ (sorry memorise) a flashcard incorrectly. But seriously, what does it mean to teach reading to a pre-school child?
According to Einstein, “Play is the highest form of research” but does this just refer to water play or pretend play?
No! WordPLAY, the ability to understand, use and play with language, more specifically vocabulary, will have a significant impact on your child’s success in school and in life.
In fact, as Stahl and Nagy (2006) report, the size of children’s vocabulary knowledge is strongly related to how well they will come to understand what they read.
‘She likes your high voice’ a friend of mine said to me once about his daughter. Yes, I am that person who talks in a sing-song voice when speaking to babies. I’ve heard this voice many times when I am talking to my baby while standing at the supermarket checkout, with people around me smiling (smirking?) and probably wondering why I sound so cringe-worthy.Continue reading “Baby talk: a poor or smart decision?”
We live in the middle of Brisbane City in a small Queenslander so my daughter’s first words so far have been quite ‘city-slickerish’. Light (ight); fan, (ffff); ball (ba_); and shoes (sooz) are some of her earliest and best words so far.
So the ‘nature-lover’ in me was delighted to see her pointing up at the moon the other night. Funnily enough, while she pointed to the moon, she unmistakably announced that it was a ‘ball’. This mistake made me laugh but I also found it fascinating to reflect upon first words and how language develops.
Speech Language Pathologists, or Speechies as we are affectionately known in Australia, are allied health professionals who study, diagnose and treat communication disorders, including difficulties with speaking, listening, understanding language, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using voice (Speech Pathology Australia).