There are approximately 650 million children throughout the world who are primary school-age, and 250 million of them are unable to read or write.
Over the years, experts have debated on the best way to teach literacy that will raise achievement levels and give children the tools and confidence needed to cope and be successful in school and beyond.
Read on for more information about some of the different approaches to teaching literacy. You’ll learn about the advantages and disadvantages of these methods so you can choose one that works best for you and the kids you’re teaching.
For years, one of the most popular teaching literacy strategies was the Alphabetic Method. In fact, it’s been around since ancient Greek and Roman times.
This approach to literacy education involves teaching children each letter of the alphabet in order (both its name and its pronunciation). Using this method, children also learn to write each letter at the same time.
At the same time that they’re learning each letter, children also learn simple vowel and consonant combinations. For example, m + a = ma. From two-letter syllables, they go on to learn longer syllables and then, eventually, full words and sentences.
Using the Alphabetic Method, reading starts off feeling very mechanical. It can take longer for children who learn in this way to become expressive readers. It can also take longer for them to start to truly comprehend what they’re reading.
Another traditional approach is the Syllabic Method. This involves teaching children the vowels (A, E, I, O, and U) first. From here, they learn the consonants, beginning with those that are easiest for them to pronounce. This is sometimes referred to as building the syllabic bridge.
After learning the consonants, children will blend vowels and consonants to create syllables (ma, me, mi, mo, mu, etc.). Once they’ve mastered this, they’ll move on to learning more complex syllables, then words, phrases, and, eventually, sentences.
As with the Alphabetic Method, when teaching children using the Syllabic Method, reading can start out sounding very methodical. It can take quite a while before children start to read more expressively and comprehend what they’re reading.
The Phonetic Method is one of the most popular and effective methods of teaching literacy. It’s encouraged more often than other approaches.
In this style of teaching, children first learn each vowel based on their sounds. Teachers will often use figures and images that start with each letter to help children remember them, and children also learn to write vowels at the same time.
After teaching vowels, instructors will teach consonants with their sounds, using images and objects for better retention. After this, children go on to learn how to blend the sounds of consonants with the sounds of the five vowels to form simple syllables.
Once children have learned simple syllables, they should be able to learn simple words and phrases. After this, more complex concepts are taught, including inverse syllables, mixed and complex syllables, diphthongs, and triphthongs. They can then combine all of these into more complicated words and phrases.
The Phonetic Approach, which is used in many interactive literacy games, does a great job of fostering confidence. GraphoGame uses an enhanced phonetic approach called Synthetic Phonics. GraphoGame’s English version is based on research on reading by “rhyme analogy”, carried out in the 1980s and 1990s by Professor Usha Goswami. The rhyme analogy research highlighted the importance of oral awareness of linguistic “onset-rime” units in reading development. To segment a word into onset-rime units, divide at the vowel (“s-ing”, “st-ing”, “spr-ing”). Developed at the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, University of Cambridge, the English GraphoGame focuses on rime patterns, teaching individual letter-sound correspondences within rhyming families of words.
Get Help Teaching Literacy Today
As you can see, there are lots of different ways that you can go about teaching literacy to children. Do you need help figuring out an approach that works well for your child (or the children you teach)? If so, consider giving GraphoGame a try today.
GraphoGame is a fun and evidence-based children’s literacy app. It uses Finnish methods of literacy teaching to help young children gain the skills they need to establish a solid foundation and become competent readers. It also tracks children’s progress and alerts parents or teachers so they can become aware of and work to correct potential issues right away.
Check out GraphoGame today to see how it works for your children!
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Co-founder & Head of Partnerships at GraphoGame
Throughout the world, more than 250 million children are illiterate or struggling to read. Even though a lot of these children are in school, they’re having a hard time keeping up and are failing to acquire basic literacy skills.
The World Bank calls this issue “learning poverty,” and UNESCO has referred to it as a “global learning crisis.” UNESCO also reports that it’s costing hundreds of billions of pounds per year.
By placing a greater emphasis on early grade literacy, we can work to solve this crisis and give more children the tools they need to succeed. Read on to learn more about the importance of early grade literacy and why it’s essential that we invest in it.
What Caused the Global Learning Crisis?
The global learning crisis is a multifaceted problem. There are many reasons why kids throughout the world are struggling to read and write, but lack of resources and access to learning opportunities are some of the contributors.
Educational resources are unevenly distributed around the world. In some countries, children enjoy full access to quality education and resources that support learning. In others, access to learning resources and educational opportunities is limited. In the latter, many children lack access to quality books and reading materials not only at home but also in school. This is especially true for the approximately one-third of children who live in poverty worldwide.
How Can Investing in Early Grade Literacy Help?
The earlier kids start working on their reading skills, the better off they’ll be. Investments in early grade literacy provide numerous benefits to children, parents, and educators all over the world. The following are some of the most noteworthy benefits:
Reduced Spending: According to the World Bank, children’s reading programs are very cost-effective, especially in developing nations. When they’re implemented correctly, they can also lead to significant reductions in spending.
Optimal Learning Times: When children are young, their brains are primed for optimal literacy. It’s much easier to teach reading and language skills among young children than it is to teach them when they get older.
Better Outcomes: Focusing on early grade literacy leads to better learning outcomes, too. When children have an opportunity to learn to read early on, they also tend to perform better as older students. They have better general knowledge, better attention spans, and improved concentrations.
Ways to Invest in Early Grade Literacy
Investments in early grade literacy are crucial to children’s long-term success. Where should we focus our attention and funding, though? Listed below are some of the greatest investments we can and should be making:
Early Childhood Education Programs: Investment in early childhood programs can lead to much better literacy outcomes. It helps to establish a strong foundation and sets children up for success later.
Evidence-Based Literacy Games: The use of evidence-based literacy games can make learning more fun for young children. When they have a chance to learn in an interactive way, they’re more likely to retain information and develop the literacy skills they need most.
Start Investing Today
As you can see, early grade literacy is too important to ignore. One of the best investments that we can make in improving children’s literacy, which has the potential to yield significant returns, is the implementation of evidence-based learning games like GraphoGame.
GraphoGame is an app that uses Finnish methods of literacy teaching. It allows kids to play at home or at school while having their progress tracked so parents and teachers can become aware of potential problems or bottlenecks.
If your child struggles with reading or if you just want to give them a leg up, GraphoGame makes a great addition to their learning efforts. Check it out today!
Picture source: https://unsplash.com/photos/cwGk-u9PHOo