Literacy refers to the ability to read and write coherently and think critically about what has been read or written. Literacy development involves the ability to understand the importance and relevance of speech sounds, spelling patterns, word meaning, grammar and word formation when reading.
Why literacy for children is important
Children having difficulties with literacy more than likely have difficulties with phonological awareness. Phonological awareness is the ability to break down words into smaller units (e.g. syllables and sounds). Specifically, it refers to the ability to detect, blend, segment, and manipulate sounds at three levels of sound structure:
- Syllables (organisation for a sequence of sounds)
- Onsets (initial sound) and Rhymes (first vowel sound in syllable to the end of the word)
- Phonemes (sound unit)
Phonological awareness and processing skills are strongly related to literacy development. These processing difficulties are generally associated with decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) words.
Speech Pathologists are specialised professionals that are trained to develop students’ phonological awareness and processing skills. Speech Pathologists offer various courses and programs to train your child to develop their literacy skills.
This article was written by speech pathologist Eugene Pillay. Both individual and group therapy programs are available to enhance and improve your child’s reading and writing skills here at ENT Wellbeing Speech Pathology Sydney. If you have questions about literacy for children, or to find out more about how to improve your child’s literacy, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist. We‘ll provide you with a straightforward, efficient and very effective treatment plan targeted to your concerns.