Is your PREP child ready to read? Let’s check now!

For children to be able to take advantage of what the teacher is going to teach them in Grade 1, they need to have certain foundational skills firmly established.

 

These skills include:

 

  • intact hearing and vision
  • well developed language skills
  • accurate pronunciation of sounds
  • intact phonological awareness skills
  • intact visual perceptual skills.

 

Most children develop these skills naturally as a part of growing older but some children don’t.  For those children who do not have the foundational skills established they will not be able to make sense of what the teacher is trying to teach them in Grade 1.

 

However, if we check/screen children in the latter part of their prep year and we find their foundational skills are not intact, then we can start immediately to teach them the missing knowledge so that they do not start Grade 1 already behind the other children.

 

What is phonological awareness?

 

Phonological awareness is a metalinguistic skill which relates to an awareness that words can be segmented into syllables and phonemes (individual sounds) which can then be manipulated and blended to create new words.

 

By the end of their prep year, children should be able to confidently:

 

  • break words into syllables/beats
  • identify if two words rhyme or not
  • tell you another word that rhymes with a particular word
  • tell you the first sound in the word
  • tell you the last sound in the word
  • break (simple two and three sound) words into individual sounds
  • blend sounds together to make simple two and three sound words
  • tell what a word would sound like when one sound is taken away.

 

This is all done at the auditory (listening) level.  It does not involve looking at letters or words or demand any alphabet knowledge.

 

What is visual perception?

 

Visual perception allows us to process and understand visual information, and is important in learning (e.g. handwriting and daily life skills).

 

Children need to be able to:

 

  • discriminate dominant features of objects such as position, shape, form and colour in order to see similarities and differences in shapes (Visual Discrimination)
  • recognize one shape/design after a brief interval (Visual Memory)
  • identify two objects that have the same shape but are a different size or position (Form Constancy)
  • identify a whole figure when only fragments are presented (Visual Closure).

 

All of these skills are essential pre-requisite skills to ensure that your child is ready to learn to read and write on entering Grade 1.

 

So your child can start Grade 1 with confidence, have their readiness skills tested NOW (last term of PREP).

 

For more information contact Tyquin Group (www.tyquin.com.au) on 33998028 or Speech Pathology Australia (www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au).

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