US author and educator Jim Trelease has spent a lifetime educating parents around the world about the benefits of reading. A noted public speaker and author of the popular and durable “The Read Aloud Handbook”, and has travelled extensively bringing home the message of his book, and the importance of “turning books into friends, not enemies”. He retired from public speaking in 2008 but his website – http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/ – is a treasure trove of information, strategies and links to further the cause of increasing literacy levels for our children.
Drs Betty Hart and Todd Risley discuss US research conducted into the early lives of American children in their booklet: “Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young American Children,” available here.
They concluded that household conversation – ordinary, everyday, meaningful conversation between people – is the key to better vocabulary and literacy for children.
Children need to hear words in sentences and questions to develop their understanding of them, obviously something that’s not going to happen when children are hardwired to their computers, phones and TVs. So talk in your homes, talk with your children and in front of your children. Surround them, not just with love, but with words and conversations.
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