Interactive Reading for Early Reading and Language Skills

Reading is one of the most important things you can do with your preschool-aged child to increase pre-literacy skills and facilitate language development. In the ASHA Leader, Corie Viscomi, MS, CCC-SLP discusses the idea of interactive reading and how to use it as a tool to facilitate early reading skills. In interactive reading, parents and teachers can use a variety of techniques to engage the child in the text. The great thing is many of the strategies are intuitive and likely things parents are already incorporating during shared reading experiences with their children; however, it’s always helpful to have a reminder and to have the reasoning behind different reading approaches.  

Here are some of the interactive reading strategies: Don’t be afraid to repeat a child’s favorite stories over and over, as this is a great way to solidify key vocabulary terms and concepts within the book. Get dramatic by imbuing the story with emotion, stressing key words, and varying intonation to help your child engage in the story and pick up on important vocabulary. Take turns with your child, leaving expectant pauses for them to fill-in-the-blank if they know the words by heart. Talk about the pictures by commenting on the objects, animals, colors, and places you see. Expand upon your child’s utterance as you talk about the pictures by adding 1-2 words (verbs, adjectives, and adverbs) to their comments. After the shared reading experience is over, carry over those important concepts into playtime! 

Read more of the great suggestions for interactive reading here:

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