Why Reading is so Important for Language Development

Reading is a very important factor in the development of your child, especially their speech and language development. Many parents often wonder why. This article will give some reasons discussing the importance of reading and development. It will also talk about what type of books to read with your child.

  1. Books often include words that are not familiar to a young child; thus, reading exposes children to all kinds of new words and helps to build vocabulary. A child's vocabulary is approximately 500 words when they reach school age. Building a child's word inventory helps when creating sentences and having conversations. Reading teaches syntax, or sentence structure, and appropriate use of words.
  2. Many children prefer the same books to be read repeatedly or books with lots of repetition (example: Brown Bear, Brown Bear). Repeating words help the child to master language. Our goal is to maximize our child's language capacity and reading helps us to achieve that objective.
  3. Children learn general information about the world through reading. Books provide a wide base of background knowledge which is known to be helpful when it comes to learning in schools. Books help in the development of literacy and learning/understanding of emotions.
  4. Words are learned when the meanings are made clear to the child. Be sure to explain what something might mean. If they do not understand the word, then they won't retain it. It also helps to use and point to pictures.

What books should I read with my child?

Any! All books are great to start reading with children! Books with relatable themes and experiences that are happening in your child's life are always a good option. Some books help to bridge the discussion of what a child might be experiencing especially in school. Reading books with topics that are interesting to the child helps keep them engaged.

Taylor Hoback, M.S., CF-SLP

Lowry, L. (n.d.). Promoting language with books. The Hanen Centre: Helping You Help Children Communicate. https://www.hanen.org/helpful-info/articles/promoting-language-with-books.aspx

Sheldon-Dean, H. (2023, October 27). Why Is It Important to Read to Your Child? Child Mind Institute . 2024, https://childmind.org/article/why-is-it-important-to-read-to-your-child/


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