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Importance of Reading

 

The Importance of Reading in Language Development

  • Reading exposes the child to French vocabulary and situations that may otherwise not be common in Francophone minority settings.
  • It strengthens language development in general.
  • It increases vocabulary.
  • It allows children to express themselves (through following the examples provided by texts and situations, in trying to guess what the story is about, through telling the story in their own way after reading it, in explaining why it was interesting, in completing certain sentences).
  The quality of reading (how a story is read, the child’s participation, the exchanges, what we read and why) makes all the difference.  

  How to read with your child

  • In general, setting an example by reading yourself (a computer screen, some mail, a newspaper, a magazine, a novel, a book of recipes, etc.).
  • By introducing a reading time at home every day, at the same place and time.
  • By presenting the child with a broad range of reading material that takes into account the child’s interests.
  • By taking advantage of all the opportunities in everyday life to show the child the usefulness of reading (read a grocery list, show the child a street name, the numbers of a house address, have the child enter the numbers of a parking space into a parking ticket machine, the instructions to make popcorn in the microwave, etc.).

  Tips for reading story books

  • Take a few minutes to look at the cover of the book and encourage the child to discuss the story’s possible content.
  • Read with great intonation. Speak like the characters. If the character is a big bear, use a deep voice. If it is a little ladybug, speak with a high-pitched voice.
  • Invite the child to participate with the story; for example, stopping at some point in the story and asking the child to predict what will follow in their own words.
  • After reading the story, ask the child questions. What did they like? Why? Could the story be different? How? What would he/she have done in the main character’s place? Why is the little mouse hiding? Where's the cat?
  • Introduce the child to new words using the pictures in the book.
  • Invite the child to tell you the story in their own words.

 

To find out more...

  • Lire à des enfants et animer la lecture. (Lina Rousseau and Robert Chiasson), Éditions Asted, 2010, 180 p. | Guide for parents and educators describing simple techniques to read a story to a child and to groups of children. The philosophy of the guide is as follows: "We too often forget that a book is more important than a rattle for the child’s development."