Building your child’s vocabulary is a vital pre-reading skill. This is because schools teach what is referred to as the ‘The Simple View of Reading’:
|Reading Comprehension = Decoding (Phonics) x Linguistic (Spoken Language) Comprehension|
This means that a child decodes the words using their phonics skills and their own vocabulary knowledge to help them understand the text they are reading.
So, for a child to have good reading skills they need to be able to speedily decode unknown words and recognise familiar printed words. And, understand the meaning and grammatical structure of the spoken language and then use this knowledge to understand the printed text.
This means that a child:
- Who does not fully understand the meaning of all the words and/or the grammatical structure of the spoken language (age appropriate) will also be unable to fully understand the printed text; even if they decoded it correctly.
- Whose ability to understand the spoken word is poor will also be unable to understand the printed text; even if they have managed to decode a few words.
Helping your child build their vocabulary is also vital, if they are to continue to develop good communication skills. Talking, explaining, sharing and playing are all important in developing your child’s vocabulary, their understanding of the words meaning in the context of the conversation and the grammatical conventions of our spoken language.