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Using Listening and Spoken Language (LSL), your child with hearing loss can become a healthy reader! There are key tools related to literacy you’ll need to focus on with your child. By combining these literacy building blocks with the LSL strategies you’re learning, you’ll be able to grow your baby’s brain for a lifetime of reading and learning. Strong reading skills will help your child succeed in school and in life, opening unlimited possibilities for their future.
There are some basic building blocks that you’ll want to understand and begin using:
This is the way your child speaks and uses their words to describe and share their thoughts.
This is the way your child talks about their experiences and tells stories.
This is the way your child is able to understand how sounds, syllables, words, and sentences are formed.
This is the way your child understands that letters make words and that the words match what we say.
Learn more about each building blocks and how to use them to build your child’s literacy skills.
Children develop spoken language and vocabulary skills before they learn to read. When we talk about spoken language and vocabulary, we mean the way your child uses their words to describe and share their thoughts. They’ll have conversations with friends and use many different words to talk about their experiences. These are the skills your child will be expected to use in school. If your child has good spoken language skill and a strong vocabulary, they’ll have what it takes to learn to read. Strive to share 40 million words by age 4 so they’re on a path to sharing great conversations and reading to learn by third grade.
Narrative development refers to the way your child talks about their experiences and tells stories. Story-based skills are crucial for success in literacy. When your child can listen, understand, and retell familiar stories, they’ll have the skill to be able to understand what they read. But before they can write a story, they must be able to tell a story. Telling their own stories and retelling stories they’ve heard will help them learn to write stories.
Stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end. This structure is an important skill for your child to learn. Talk about the stories, actions, characters, and their feelings. This will help your child be able to recount an event in the order that it happened and to be able to share their thoughts and ideas using the right words.
In LSL intervention, you’ll learn how to guide your child using LSL strategies as they learn to talk about their experiences. Experience books can be a great way to practice this crucial skill.
Phonological awareness refers to the way your child is able to understand how sounds, syllables, words, and sentences are formed. Some experts say that your child’s phonological awareness skills in kindergarten are the best predictor of their reading and spelling success later on.
A child with hearing loss needs to know that spoken language can be broken down in various ways – that is sentences into words, words into syllables, and syllables into individual speech sounds. You’ll want to find fun and meaningful ways for your child to learn these skills. Your LSL interventionist will guide you to learn how to help your child pay attention to the differences in sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. Your goal is to develop a finely tuned ear, which will help your child grow into a healthy reader.
Print awareness refers to the way your child understands that letters make words and that the words match what you say. Print awareness is a skill that leads to literacy, as science tells us that the more your child is aware of print, the more efficiently they can learn to read.
Having print awareness means that your child knows the letters of the alphabet and understands that written language has meaning and is connected to spoken language. Print awareness also means that your child knows how to hold a book and that words are read from left to right and top to bottom.
Through a LSL approach, you’ll learn strategies to help your child focus on print awareness and the childhood development milestones for all of the skills needed for success in listening, spoken language, and literacy.
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Remember, you’re not alone on this journey. Thousands of parents have been in your shoes. Find other parents who can share from experience, offer encouragement, and help your family reach your LSL goals.
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