Environment plays a very vital role in the developmental studies of children. A larger percentage of children’s literacy skills are learned through observing the immediate environment. They then try to imitate the observed phenomenon before finally making it a habit and eventually a learnt skill. A good reading strategy should thus be centered on the children’s immediate environment and be as involving as possible in order to achieve the desired objectives. In the case of developing a certain literacy interest, the strategy should be designed in such a way that it incorporates as many literary activities as possible. Thus, such a strategy could entail the following concepts.
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Expose the children to a rich variety of languages. In most cases, this is done through reading books as well as through discussions in a classroom setting. Such an exposure significantly enhances the children’s oral skills development. It is advisable that the teacher goes a step further to provide commentary on classroom activities. This will help familiarize and expose the learners to languages associated with the immediate context as children will tend to develop anxiety to know names of virtually everything surrounding them. They also try to recall all vocabulary related to the context. In the long run, they struggle to establish the correct pronunciation hence gradually developing an overall interest in literacy skills.
The learning environment (class) should be structured in such a way that it allows instructional activities. An environment like that will support the teacher in executing instructions thus helping the children internalize the meaning of various vocabularies through participation and this also applies to a classroom setting. Changes on the same environment should be minimized as much as possible, since maintaining an almost similar setting will help children anticipate and consequently try to predict each day’s activities and by so doing, they also anticipate the type of language that accompanies each activity. This will significantly increase their interest in literacy.
Systematically provide explicit instructions using vocabularies as children learn a lot by exposure. Hence, a resource person should ensure the introduction of a new but interesting instruction in children’s activity since sometimes reading the new words aloud encourages children to learn reading. However, these words should be closely associated with a theme in discussion so as to help children draw the relationship between the new words.
The final aspect of an effective strategy is children’s confidence. Effort should be made to develop the children’s literary confidence. This could be jointly done by teachers, parents and other members of the society and should include activities that encourage social interactions and self-directed involvements. Interaction helps children build confidence and be in a position to effectively employ a variety of literature.
In incidences where children use the wrong vocabulary they should be corrected politely and humbly. A sharp and harsh correction reduces their confidence and develops fear in children as corrections may also elicit emotions that might kill the whole literacy development process, since the affected children may end up keeping to themselves for fear of reprimand. It also becomes impossible to gauge the development progress in such cases.
Fostering literacy interest in children is such a delicate process that requires the best approach if the end results are to be achieved. However, the key factor in the whole process is the immediate environment. Parents and resource people should thus design the best atmosphere that encourages literary skills development.
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