Literacy begins at birth. The early reading and writing experiences children have help prepare them for later success in school. That's why rich and varied language and literacy experiences at home and in the kindergarten are so important. Children's language learning is rooted in the caring environment of their homes and school. By engaging children in conversations, exposing them to new words, singing songs, discussing symbols and their meaning; and encouraging expression of thoughts, feelings, and opinions through words, you lay the foundation for later language skills success. When it comes to learning to listen, speak, read and write, children must be familiar with language and use it to communicate ideas, desires, and feelings with other people.
During the first years, children are able to recognize the shape and sound of each letter as well as words that commonly begin with that letter.
How to teach Letter awareness in a foreign language?
Introduce the letters of the alphabet by finding a word or a name that is meaningful for your children. For example B is for Bags (school bags), books, blocks, etc. It is important to learn the name, the shape, and the sound of each letter of the alphabet.
Children learn by using their senses. They need not only to hear and look at letters but also smell, touch and taste letters.
Letter shape is important. Show the correct formation of the letter while presenting it. Children can practice tracing letters in sand, shaving cream, pudding, or fingerpaint.
If you are working with older children remember to introduce the upper and lower case too.
Here are some fun ideas to use with your children
- Paint letters with water on the sidewalk or driveway
- Draw letters with different colours
- Draw letters in whipped cream or dulce de leche
- Use body to make letters
- Make an ABC book of animals, plants, favourites, names
- Build letters with straws, toothpicks, popsicles sticks
- Make a poster for each letter
- Look for letters in magazines or newspapers
- Write letters in sand, dirt, flour, beans
- Build words with clay, playdough
- Go on a letter hunt in the classroom or home