Families can teach infants to read at home by sharing books, facing a child when reading aloud to allow lip-reading, and talking with the children whenever possible.
Stronger literacy can be seen in deaf children who use spoken-language from birth. And this strengthened literacy in turn improves the childrens’ cognitive ability (Judith T. Lysaker, 2011). It’s a great combination before starting school.
Once school starts, children who communicate by listening and talking may have stronger literacy skills than children who use other communication options.
Apps for listening practice and blogs make a great home-school connection for teachers and families to use. Some examples are apps for listening and reading practice, the “Buddy Ears” app for children to practice listening skills after receiving a cochlear implant, and even apps to record childrens’ voices for reading comprehension and analysis
Literacy can be an issue for children who have language delay from late detection of hearing issues, or who may struggle to link words to meaning.
Literacy for deaf infants is the ability to read print, as in written letters for learning English, new concepts and gaining knowledge. Regardless of how a child communicates, their early-years learning needs to include print letters.
Some tips for reading with your child:
- Ensure the book or tablet PC can be seen by both of you
- Sit side-by-side where you can see each other – and the book
- Read the story aloud together, checking your child’s comprehension
- Point to, identify and name the pictures and words as you go
- Explain any new words or concepts as necessary
- Take it in turns to read the story, speaking as preferred
- Ask your child questions about the story
- Keep it fun!
Flash cards, apps and large posters with pictures and words are great visual aids for children to remember words.
Whiteboards, magnetic letters, alphabet blocks and friezes are great resources for younger children to use at home.
Age-appropriate subtitled DVDs, videos or TV shows can develop childrens’ reading and written language abilities.