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Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad

Question No. 1: Suggest some listening and reading activities for early graders.



Listening is the ability to accurately receive and interpret messages in the communication process. Listening is key to all effective communication, without. The ability to listen effectively messages is easily misunderstood. Listening is one of the most important skills you can have (McNaughton et al., 2008).

3 basic skills of listening:

Effective listening has three modes: attentive listening, responsive listening, and active listening.

Importance of Listening skill:

Good listening skills are needed to develop empathy and understanding with the students and to assess whether they understand what they are being taught. Listening skills also help in negotiating with students and defusing any potential classroom conflicts. Active listening promotes mindful thinking, which can reduce anxiety and depression in students. It can also help students build relationships because as they engage themselves in conversation, their peers are more likely to view them as open and interested (Wolvin & Coakley, 2019).

Listening Activities for Early Graders:

Listening is one of the most important skills you can teach your child. Although it is often overlooked, it is actually easy to develop with simple games and activities. Here is a brief explanation of the importance of this skill, followed by simple listening activities and games.

Broken Telephone:

The telephone game can be played around the dinner table or anytime when at least 3 members of your family are present. Start with single words if your child is very young and slowly move up to phrases, then entire sentences as your child becomes more competent at listening.Make up a word or sentence and whisper it into your child’s ear, who must whisper it to the next family member, who continues passing the message around the table. The last person to hear the message says it out loud. Also, change the order of who-whispers-to-who and allow your child to make up messages as well.

Musical Statues:

The Musical Statues game is another favourite that kids love. All you need is some music and a space to dance. Play the music and stop it every now and again. You and your child must both freeze as soon as the music stops. You will see the difference over time as your child refines their listening skills. Initially, it may take a while for your child to realize the music has paused and to stop dancing.

Go on a Listening Walk:

This game is great not only for developing listening skills but also for teaching mindfulness and avoiding spending all day listening to the jumble of thoughts in one’s head. Adults should do it too. Take your child for a walk in the garden, down the road or to the park. There are usually enough sounds in your garden! Tell each other all the sounds you hear leaves rustling, your dog barking, a car on the motorway, a bird chirping, a child yelling, a siren, etc.

How Many Things Did You Hear?

This is a variation on the previous game and involves listening as well as memorizing. Ask your child to close their eyes and put a timer on your phone for 30 seconds. Ask him to listen carefully and try to remember all the things he heard in order if possible. List all the sounds that were heard and count how many different sounds there were. With time, increase from 30 seconds to a minute of focused listening.

 Listen to Stories:

Listen to audiobook CDs or stories on YouTube, without looking at the screen. Ask your child about the story after he has heard it. This also works with bedtime stories. Ask your child to close his eyes and listen to you reading the story without showing the pictures. Ask him to think about how he will draw the story for you in the morning.

Give Multiple Instructions:

Give your child instructions around the house or while cooking together. Make them clear. Start with one instruction. Please fetch the book next to my bed.Ask your child to repeat the instruction back to you, and then follow it.Increase it to two instructions. Please fetch the book next to my bed. Open it and take out the recipe cut-out from the front cover.Again, ask your child to repeat both and then carry them out.


Draw a Picture with Instructions:

Adapt the following exercise to your child’s level.Give your child a piece of paper and coloured crayons/pencils. Ask him to follow your instructions carefully.This is an enlightening exercise that often clearly shows if listening skills are in place or require some sharpening. Pre-schoolers should get very simple instructions and only one at a time initially. Incorporate questions with the words left and right.

Sing Action Rhymes:

When children are using their bodies to move, they are concentrating better, learning more and developing better listening skills.

A great listening activity for pre-schoolers is to tell them an action rhyme where they follow the instructions such as the one below.

Make Up an Impromptu Story:

At bedtime, make up a nonsense story together by adding on one line each and seeing where the story goes.

Mom: Once upon a time there was a little girl.

Child: She was fighting with her brother.

Mom: Suddenly they heard a big noise and went to the window

Model Good Listening:

It goes without saying. If you want your children to be good listeners; you need to model that behaviour.

Listen to them when they talk to you. Validate what they are saying. Listen to your family members.

Praise Good Listening:

Praise your child when they listen well by using specific language.Try not to default to ‘what a good boy’. Rather make statements such as:Great job listening carefully to all the instructions.I can see from your picture that you were concentrating on my instructions.Well done for making the effort to concentrate today.






Reading Activities for Ages 3-5

Introduce your child to the world of letters, sounds, and words with our six activity tips.By exploring letters, words, and sounds, your young child is embarking on a path to literacy. These six playful activities make the process fun for both you and your little one.

Fun with Letters

Children enjoy copying words out onto paper. Write your child’s name and have him copy it himself with alphabet stamps, stickers, or magnets. Encourage him to “write” his own words using the letters. Your child will write letters backwards, spell seemingly randomly, and may hold his marker strangely — it’s “all good” at this age when a child wants to communicate in writing of any kind.

Book Pick:

Scholastic Early Learners: Wipe Clean Workbooks – Pre-K: Alphabet will let your early writer practice letters over and over without the endless need for paper and messy markers. Your child can practice writing the ABCs and simply wipe his workbook clean and start again. This book has endless opportunity for learning plus, what child doesn’t love dry erase!

What Word Starts With

The letter-sound connection is one of the first steps to reading. Play a guessing game about your child’s favorite words. What letter does “p-p-p-pirate” start with? How about “M-m-mommy”? Once your child guesses one correctly, see how many words you can come up with together that starts with the same letter.
Book Pick:

Peppa’s First 100 Words (Peppa Pig) is not only full of basic words to boost easy letter and vocabulary recognition, but the interactive flaps on its pages will motivate your child to keep learning until she reaches word 100! Plus, this title has all things Peppa Pig, a beloved character your little one will love to learn with as she practices her letter sounds.

Your Child the Author

Three-year-olds can be chatty, and by age 4, it can be hard to get a word in edgewise. Take advantage of your child’s interest in talking by writing a book together. Start out with something simple, like describing a fun day at a park or visiting friends. Staple a few pieces of paper together, and write out one or two of your child’s sentences on each page. Then, read the story to her and let her illustrate it.
Book Pick:

Scholastic Early Learners: Kindergarten Mix & Match Silly Sentences will inspire constant storytelling while boosting your child’s ability to form words and complete sentences. Your little learner can turn his silly statements into even sillier stories by mixing and matching wacky sentences to form a comedy-infused tale with a ton of learning benefits snuck inside.

A Different Way to Read

Reading to your child is great but what’s even better is something called “dialogic” reading. That’s when you ask your child to participate in the story. Before turning the page, ask your child what he thinks will happen next. You can also ask your child what other way the book could have ended. For example, with the classic book Corduroy, what would have happened if the little girl hadn’t come back to take Corduroy home from the toy store?

Book Pick: 

You Read to Me, I’ll Read To You: Very Short Stories to Read Together is the perfect tool for parent-child read-aloud, even if your child needs a little help along the way. Using different colored words to signify different voices and whose turn it is to read, this rhyming book is full of easy-to-understand language, quick and simple stories, and a great chance to push your little one to practice reading.

Take Letters Outside

Kids are tactile and enjoy few activities more than poking things with a stick. Many preschools encourage kids to make letters out of Play Doh or draw them into sand or clay. The next time you are out in the park, or at the beach, or in the snow, use your surroundings to play with letters. Take turns writing letters in the snow, dirt, or sand.
Just the Facts

Try getting your child interested in nonfiction books. At the library or bookstore, find books on your child’s favorite topics. Cars, dinosaurs, dogs, and other topics are covered in on-level books with plenty of pictures, designed especially for kids this age.

References of Question No. 1

McNaughton, D., Hamlin, D., McCarthy, J., Head-Reeves, D., & Schreiner, M.

(2008). Learning to listen: Teaching an active listening strategy to preservice education professionals. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education27(4), 223-231.

Mcilroy, T. (2020).17 Simple Listening Activities for Kids. Accessed from:            https://empoweredparents.co/

Wolvin, A. D., & Coakley, C. G. (2019). Listening. Wm. C. Brown Publishers, 2460

Kerper Blvd., Dubuque, IA 52001.


Question No. 2: Who can be called as “effective readers”. Discuss their techniques with reference to early graders.

Reading Strategies That Really Work

When we think of reading issues, we often imagine children who struggle to decode the letters in text and turn them into spoken language. This type of struggling reader has a very difficult time figuring out what many of the words are and has poor phonological (speech-sound) skills. However, there are also many students who sound like they’re reading beautifully but have difficulty with understanding vocabulary and figurative language, inferencing, verbal reasoning, grammatical development, and oral expression.

As children get older, if they are decoding text well we assume they are reading well. Once a person learns to decode, reading comprehension becomes more about language comprehension and focus. At this transition, starting around third grade, teachers may begin to notice some students who decode text fluently but do not understand.

Since this type of struggling reader is less noticeable than ones who have difficulty decoding, they often slip under the radar until they begin to fail standardized state comprehension tests. Even then, their issues may go undetected for a long time, resulting in middle and high school students who sound like they’re reading but understand nothing that they have read.

These struggling readers should be targeted for remediation the earlier the better. However, remediation consisting of practice passages and questions may be ineffective as it focuses too narrowly on text-based skills.

Supporting Students Who Struggle With Comprehension

Here are five strategies to try out with students who read fluently but struggle to comprehend what they’re reading.

  1. Target overall comprehension of language:

Recent research reveals that reading comprehension difficulties may stem from an underlying oral language weakness that exists from early childhood, before reading is even taught. It turns out that students who have poor reading comprehension also often understand fewer spoken words and less of what they hear, and have worse spoken grammar. So, to address reading comprehension deficits effectively, educators may have to use an approach that teaches vocabulary, thinking skills, and comprehension first in spoken language and then in reading and written language.

  1. Teach vocabulary:Because students with poor comprehension often have poor vocabulary skills and understand less of what they hear, it’s helpful to teach the meanings of new words through the use of multisensory strategies like graphic organizers, pictures, and mnemonics. Improving their overall language skills increases the likelihood that they will understand the words they encounter in written text. Since it is impossible to know every word one might encounter, students should be taught about the different types of context clues and how to use them to determine the meaning of unknown words.
  2. Teach thinking strategies:Once students have the vocabulary to be able to make it through a text, they often struggle with the complex thinking or sustained attention required to keep up with all of the important details and to access information that is implied but not directly stated. Teachers can instruct students on cognitive strategies they can use. Many common text reading strategiessuch as annotation, SQ3R, and the KWL chart—make use of these thinking strategies, including:
  • Discussing or activating prior knowledge,
  • Developing questions while reading,
  • Connecting what they are reading to another text, something they have seen, or something they have experienced,
  • Visualizing or picturing what they are reading,
  • Making predictions about what will come next in the text,
  • Looking back for keywords and rereading in order to clarify or answer questions, and
  • Thinking aloudto model the strategies and thought processes needed for comprehension.

Students can learn and then use the strategies that work best for them depending on the text they’re reading. Pulling deeper meaning out of text through the use of thinking strategies can be beneficial not just to reading comprehension but also to writing.

  1. Have students practice reciprocal teaching:Once taught, cognitive strategies can be consistently practiced and implemented through the use of reciprocal teaching, which encourages students to take a leadership role in their learning and begin to think about their thought process while listening or reading. Teachers can use reciprocal teaching during class discussions, with text that is read aloud, and later with text that is read in groups. The students should rotate between the following roles:
  • Questioner, who poses questions about parts of the lesson, discussion, or text that are unclear or confusing, or to help make connections with previously learned material.
  • Summarizer, who sums up each important point or detail from the lesson, discussion, or text.
  • Clarifier, who tries to address the Questioner’s issues and make sure that parts they found confusing are clear to others.
  • Predictor, who makes a prediction about what will happen next based on what was presented, discussed, or read,
  1. Directly teach comprehension skills:

Students should be directly taught comprehension skills such as sequencing, story structure using the plot mountain, how to make an inference and draw a conclusion, and the different types of figurative language. Students should have the opportunity to first use the skills with text that they hear the teacher read aloud, and then later with text that they read independently at their own level.

The comprehension skills and strategies listed above can be used with the whole class, as they closely align with reading and language arts standards for elementary and middle school students. Teachers can help students’ select reading material with vocabulary that matches their current ability levels so that within a classroom, students are reading text and working on vocabulary at levels that are accessible for each of them.





Question No. 3: Explain “context support method” as effective approach of teaching reading.

The Context Support Method

When your students are just learning to read it is important to choose books that really interest them. If boys like cars, choose a book with pictures and simple words about cars. This will keep their interest and they will enjoy learning with you. If girls like dolls, obtain a book with doll pictures and simple words. Again it will encourage enthusiasm because they are actually looking at something they can relate tosome books are especially written to support this method of learning. You will find a longer sentence on one side of the page while the other side has a single word or maybe two to three words for your student to read. You will read the longer sentence while your student reads the simpler version.

You may like to try this method of long and short text or maybe combine it with one or all of the other methods above. The debate still rages among educators, parents, and experts. Which approach to teaching reading works best? That is something only you can answer and it comes with practice and experience.

Most children learn to read reasonably well between the ages of four and eight. Check the following 10 point checklist, which was originally written for parents to help ascertain if students are heading in the right direction.

  1. Do you read regularly with your child? (Five or six days a week)
  2. Do you give your child time to browse through a book before attempting to read it?
  3. Do you show confidence in your child’s abilities? Your lack of confidence may affect your child’s ability to read.
  4. Don’t tell your child you are worried about his/her reading progress. This will only fuel your child’s problem. Discuss with your partner or other home-school parent for advice.
  5. Does your child ever read to anyone else besides you? Try a grandma, neighbour, uncle, aunt, friend etc. It could make a big difference with your child’s confidence to read.
  6. Do you expect too much to soon? Don’t push too hard for immediate results. It takes time!
  7. Are you always rushed? Do you give your child enough time to read or write?
  8. Do you provide opportunities for your child to write? Such as shopping lists, names on the top of letters to friends or relatives, the child’s own name at the bottom of a letter or card you have written.
  9. Are you using books at the correct level? Use easy books to encourage your child’s abilities, making sure it is not too easy or you will undermine your child’s confidence in him/her. Don’t choose books too hard that also may undermine your child’s confidence in him/her.
  10. If you do all the above and you are still worried, your child’s hearing or eye sight may have something to do with the reading problem. Visit your doctor for a check-up because hearing or eyesight could affect his/her ability to learn.

Methods for teaching reading

Learning how to read is one of the most important things a child will do before the age of 10. That’s because everything from vocabulary growth to performance across all major subjects at school is linked to reading ability. The Phonics Method teaches children to pair sounds with letters and blend them together to master the skill of decoding.

The Whole-word Approach teaches kids to read by sight and relies upon memorization via repeat exposure to the written form of a word paired with an image and an audio. The goal of the Language Experience Method is to teach children to read words that are meaningful to them. Vocabulary can then be combined to create stories that the child relates to. Yet while there are various approaches to reading instruction, some work better than others for children who struggle with learning difficulties.

The most common kind of dyslexia, phonological dyslexia, causes individuals to have trouble hearing the sounds that make up words. This makes it difficult for them to sound out words in reading and to spell correctly. Dyslexic learners may therefore benefit from a method that teaches whole-word reading and de-emphasizes the decoding process.

Orton Gillingham is a multi-sensory approach that has been particularly effective for dyslexic children. It combines visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile learning to teach a program of English phonics, allowing children to proceed at a pace that suits them and their ability.

No two students will learn to read in exactly the same way, thus remaining flexible in your approach is key. It can be useful to combine methods, teach strategies and provide the right classroom accommodations, particularly for students who have specific learning differences.  Remember that motivation is key and try to be patient so as to avoid introducing any negative associations with school and learning.

Learn more about motivating children to readdifferent kinds of dyslexiaidentifying dyslexiathe Orton-Gillingham approach to reading, and strategies to help children with dyslexia in these posts.

Pre-literacy skills

Children begin acquiring the skills they need to master reading from the moment they are born. In fact, an infant as young as six months old can already distinguish between the sounds of his or her mother tongue and a foreign language and by the age of 2 has mastered enough native phonemes to regularly produce 50+ words. Between the ages of 2-3 many children learn to recognize a handful of letters.

They may enjoy singing the alphabet song and reciting nursery rhymes, which helps them develop an awareness of the different sounds that make-up English words. As fine motor skills advance, so does the ability to write, draw and copy shapes, which eventually can be combined to form letters.

There are plenty of ways parents can encourage pre-literacy skills in children, including pointing out letters, providing ample opportunities for playing with language, and fostering an interest in books. It can be helpful to ask a child about their day and talk through routines to assist with the development of narrative skills.

Visit your local library and bookstore as often as possible. The more kids read with their parents, teachers and caregivers, the more books become a familiar and favourite pastime. Young children should be encouraged to participate in reading by identifying the pictures they recognize and turning the pages.

Discover more about fostering pre-literacy skills.

1. The Phonics Method

The smallest word-part that carries meaning is a phoneme. While we typically think of letters as the building blocks of language, phonemes are the basic units of spoken language. In an alphabetic language like English, sounds are translated into letters and letter combinations in order to represent words on the page. Reading thus relies on an individual’s ability to decode words into a series of sounds. Encoding is the opposite process and is how we spell.

The Phonics Method is concerned with helping a child learn how to break words down into sounds, translate sounds into letters and combine letters to form new words. Phonemes and their corresponding letters may be taught based on their frequency in English words. Overall there are 40 English phonemes to master and different programs take different approaches to teaching them. Some materials introduce word families with rhyming words grouped together. It’s also possible to teach similarly shaped letters or similar sounding letters together.
The Phonics Method is one of the most popular and commonly used methods. In the beginning progress may be slow and reading out loud halting, but eventually the cognitive processes involved in translating between letters and sounds are automatized and become more fluent. However, English is not always spelled the way it sounds. This means some words can’t be sounded out and need to be learned through memorization.

2. The Whole-word Approach

This method teaches reading at the word level. Because it skips the decoding process, students are not sounding out words but rather learning to say the word by recognizing its written form. Context is important and providing images can help. Familiar words may initially be presented on their own, then in short sentences and eventually in longer sentences. As their vocabulary grows, children begin to extract rules and patterns that they can use to read new words.
Reading via this method is an automatic process and is sometimes called sight-reading. After many exposures to a word child will sight-read the majority of the vocabulary they encounter, only sounding out unfamiliar terms.
Sight-reading is faster and facilitates reading comprehension because it frees up cognitive attention for processing new words. That’s why it is often recommended that children learn to read high frequency English vocabulary in this way. The Dolch word list is a set of terms that make-up 50-75% of the vocabulary in English children’s books.

3. The Language Experience Method

Learning to read nonsense words in a black-and-white activity book is not always the most effective approach. The Language Experience Method of teaching reading is grounded in personalized learning where the words taught are different for every child. The idea is that learning words that the child is already familiar with will be easier.

Teachers and parents can then create unique stories that use a child’s preferred words in different configurations. Children can draw pictures that go with them and put them together in a folder to create a special reading book. You can look for these words in regular children’s fiction and use them to guess at the meaning of unknown words met in a context – an important comprehension strategy that will serve kids in later grades.

Tips for parents

No matter which method or methods you use, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Read as often as possible.Develop a routine where you read a book together in the morning or in the evening. You may start by reading aloud but have the child participate by running a finger along the text. Make reading fun, include older children and reserve some family reading time where everyone sits together with their own book to read for half an houradults included!
  2. Begin with reading material that the child is interested in. If he or she has a favourite subject, find a book full of related vocabulary to boost motivation.
  3. Let the child choose his or her own book.When an individual has agency and can determine how the learning process goes, he or she is more likely to participate. Take children to libraries or bookstores and encourage them to explore books and decide what they would like to read.
  4. Consider graded readers.As a child develops his or her reading ability, you will want to increase the challenge of books moving from materials that present one word per page to longer and longer sentences, and eventually, paragraph level text. If you’re not sure a book is at the right level for your child, try counting how many unfamiliar words it contains per page. You can also take the opposite approach and check to see how many Dolch words are present.
  5. Talk about what you see on the page.Use books as a way to spur conversation around a topic and boost vocabulary by learning to read words that are pictured but not written. You can keep a special journal where you keep a record of the new words. They will be easier to remember because they are connected through the story.
  6. Avoid comparisons with peers. Every child learns to read at his or her own pace. Reading is a personal and individual experience where a child makes meaning and learns more about how narrative works as he or she develops stronger skills.
  7. Don’t put too much pressure. Forcing a child into reading when he or she is not ready can result in negative reactions and cause more harm than good.
  8. Do speak with your child’s teacher.If your child doesn’t enjoy reading and struggles with decoding and/or sight reading, it may be due to a specific learning difficulty. It’s advised you first discuss it with your child’s teacher who may recommend an assessment by a specialist.


Orton-Gillingham is an approach designed to help struggling readers. It’s based on the work of Dr. Samuel Orton and Dr. Anna Gillingham and has been in use for the past 80+ years. Orton-Gillingham allows every child to proceed at a pace that is right for him or her and introduces English phonics in a multi-sensory way.

For example, children may see a letter combination, say it aloud and trace it in the air with their finger. Rich sensory experiences help to enhance learning and can be provided using different materials like drawing in sand, dirt, shaving cream or chocolate pudding. Children may form letters using their hands or move in a rhythmic way that mimics the syllables in a word. Singing, dancing, art activities and plenty of repetition develop reading skills.

Learn more in this post on taking a multi-sensory approach to reading.

Touch-typing and multi-sensory reading

TTRS is a touch-typing program that follows the Orton-Gillingham approach and teaches reading in a multi-sensory way. Children see a word on the screen, hear it read aloud and type it. They use muscle memory in the fingers to remember spelling – which is particularly important for children who have dyslexia– and practice with high frequency words that build English phonics knowledge and decoding skills. Learning happens via bite-size modules that can be repeated as often as is needed. Progress is shown through automatized feedback and result graphs build confidence and motivation.

Question No. 4:Explain the concept of ‘literary development’.

Literacy typically includes the two areas of reading and writing. Literacy development refers to the on-going development of skills needed to successfully communicate through written communication.

Key points

Literacy is the foundation for reading, writing, communicating and socialising.Early literacy is learning about sounds, words and language.You can support early literacy development by communicating with children, reading, and playing with rhyme.

Children develop and learn best through every day, fun activities like singing, talking and games.

Encouraging literacy development

Literacy development is a vital part of your child’s overall development. It’s the foundation for doing well at school, socialising with others, problem-solving, making decisions, developing independence, managing money and working.

But before children can learn to read and write, they need to develop the building blocks for literacy – the ability to speak, listen, understand, watch and draw.

And as children get older, they also need to learn about the connection between letters on a page and spoken sounds. For this to happen, your child needs plenty of experience with:

Pictures and objects – how you can use words to talk about them

Letters and words – how they look and sound, and what they’re called

Sounds – how words can rhyme, begin and end with the same letters, be broken up into parts like syllables, be formed by blending different sounds and so on.

You can help with all these areas of your child’s early literacy development by:

communicating with your child

Reading together

Playing with rhyme and other sounds with your child.And the great news is that you can do this in ways that are fun for both of you.

Communicating: its importance in literacy development. Communicating with your baby helps to develop your child’s ability to speak, listen and understand as they get older.

For example, you might notice your baby responds to your smiles and your words. Your baby might try to imitate your sounds and facial expressions. When you respond, it encourages two-way conversation and helps your baby learn words and build language skills.

Another example is singing with your child, which teaches them about the rise and fall of sounds. It’s also a good way to introduce your child to the music and stories of your family’s culture.


Talk about feelings and chat about whether your child is happy or sad. Use words to describe your child’s emotions. This can help your child understand how others feel too.

Share stories with your child. You could share funny or interesting stories from your childhood or tell your child about your family’s past. You could take turns creating a story together.

Emphasise the different parts of words or different letters to help your child understand that words can be broken down into segments. For example, you could say ‘ball’ and emphasise the ‘b’ sound or ‘ba-na-na’ and emphasise each syllable.

Listen to your child. Follow your child’s lead and talk about things they want to talk about. If your child asks a question, give them the chance to come up with answers before you step in. For example, if your child says, ‘What’s that box there?’, you could say, ‘What do you think it is?’

Repeat mispronounced words with the correct pronunciation. For example, if your child says ‘pasghetti’, you can say, ‘Yes, we’re having spaghetti for dinner’.

Speaking more than one language has many benefits for children. Read our article on raising bilingual children for information and tips on supporting your bilingual child’s literacy development.

Reading: its importance in literacy development

It’s good to read with your child often. It’s best to start reading from birth, but it’s never too late to begin. Reading with children from an early age helps them develop a solid foundation for literacy. It also promotes bonding and is good for your relationship with your child.

Reading with children:

Shows them that books can give both pleasure and information

Helps them learn the sounds of letters in spoken language

Helps them understand that stories aren’t coming from you, but from the words on the page – this teaches them about how the printed word works

Helps them develop a larger vocabulary – books might use new or unfamiliar words

Improves their thinking and problem-solving skills

Can get children thinking and talking about a new concept, an event or something that interests them

Helps them learn about the wider community, society and the world.


What you can do

Choose lift-the flap books, touch-and-feel books or books with rhyming or repeating words for younger children.

Encourage your child to hold the book and turn the pages. This helps your child start to understand that the book should be a certain way up, and that pages are always turned in the same direction.

Slide your finger underneath the words as you read them, pointing out each word. This teaches your child about print and shows your child that we always start on the left and move to the right when reading English. You could ask, ‘Where should I start reading on this page?’ or ‘Do you know this letter?’

Point out pictures and talk about the pictures your child points to.

Make the sounds of animals or other objects in the book – have fun!

Ask your child open-ended questions about the story, like ‘What do you think is going to happen next?’ or ‘What would you do if this was you?’

Visit your local library it’s free to join and borrow. Libraries have many different types of books.

Let’s Read is an Australian program that promotes reading with babies and children aged 0-5 years. Let’s Read resources include reading tip sheets and book suggestion lists.

Rhyme: its importance in literacy development

Rhyming is a great way to help babies hear and identify different sounds in words. And when children start learning to read, rhyming helps them learn the connection between the sounds of a word and how it’s written.

What you can do

Play games that involve rhyming. Rhyming games help children appreciate beginning, middle and ending sounds for example, ‘cat, pat and mat’. You can play them at any time  in the car, while shopping or at the dinner table.

Play games that involve the sound and rhythm of words. You could try tongue twisters like ‘She sells seashells by the seashore’.

Read rhyming books like ten little fingers and ten little toes by Mem Fox or the Pig the pug series by Aaron Blabey.



Question No. 5:Compare the theories of Vygotsky, Bruner and Rogoff regarding the social support during learning especially language development

Methods and approaches to teaching have been greatly influenced by the research of Jean Bruner and Lev Vygotsky. Both have contributed to the field of education by offering explanations for children’s cognitive learning styles and abilities. While Bruner and Vygotsky may differ on how they view cognitive development in children, both offer educators good suggestions on how teach certain material in a developmentally appropriate manner.

Bruner proposed that cognitive development from infant to young adult occurs in four universal and consecutive stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operations, and formal operations (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Between the ages of zero and two years of age, the child is in the sensorimotor stage. It is during this stage the child experiences his or her own world through the senses and through movement. During the latter part of the sensorimotor stage, the child develops object permanence, which is an understanding that an object exists even if it is not within the field of vision (Woolfolk, A., 2004). The child also begins to understand that his or her actions could cause another action, for example, kicking a mobile to make the mobile move. This is an example of goal-directed behavior. Children in the sensorimotor stage can reverse actions, but cannot yet reverse thinking (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

During a child’s second and seventh year, he or she is considered to be in the preoperational stage. Bruner stated that during this stage, the child has not yet mastered the ability of mental operations. The child in the preoperational stage still does not have the ability to think through actions (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Children in this stage are considered to be egocentric, meaning they assume others share their points of view (Woolfolk, A. 2004). Because of egocentricism, children in this stage engage in collective monologues, in which each child is talking, but not interacting with the other children (Woolfolk, A. 2004). Another important aspect of the preoperational stage is the acquisition of the skill of conservation. Children understand that the amount of something remains the same even if its appearance changes (Woolfolk, A., 2004).  A child in the preoperational stage would not be able to perform the famous Brunerian conservation problem of liquid and volume, because he or she has not yet developed reversible thinking – “thinking backward, from the end to the beginning” (Woolfolk, A., 33).

Concrete operations occurs between the ages of seven to eleven years. Students in the later elementary years, according to Bruner, learn best through hands-on discovery learning, while working with tangible objects. Reasoning processes also begin to take shape in this stage. Bruner stated that the three basic reasoning skills acquired during this stage were identity, compensation, and reversibility (Woolfolk, A., 2004). By this time, the child learns that a “person or object remains the same over time” (identity) and one action can cause changes in another (compensation) (Woolfolk, A., 2004). This child has an understanding of the concept of seriation – ordering objects by certain physical aspects. The child is also able to classify items by focusing on a certain aspect and grouping them accordingly (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Bruner’s final stage of cognitive development is formal operations, occurring from age eleven years to adulthood. People who reach this stage (and not everyone does, according to Bruner) are able to think abstractly. They have achieved skills such as inductive and deductive reasoning abilities. People in the formal operations stage utilize many strategies and resources for problem solving. They have developed complex thinking and hypothetical thinking skills. Through hypothetico-deductive reasoning, one is able to identify the factors of a problem, and deduce solutions (Woolfolk, A., 2004). People in this stage also imagine the best possible solutions or principles, often through the ability to think ideally (Woolfolk, A., 2004). The acquisition of meta-cognition (thinking about thinking) is also a defining factor of those people in formal operations.

Based on Bruner’s proposed stages and ability levels at each, certain teaching strategies have been offered for teaching in the Brunerian school of thought. In the preoperational stage, the teacher would have to use actions and verbal instruction. Because the child has not yet mastered mental operations, the teacher must demonstrate his or her instructions, because the child cannot yet think through processes. The use of visual aids, while keeping instructions short would most benefit the child in this stage (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Hands-on activities also aid with learning future complex skills, as the text mentions, reading comprehension (Woolfolk, A., 2004). The teacher must be sensitive to the fact that these children, according to Bruner, are still egocentric and may not realize that not everyone shares the same view (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Teaching children in the concrete operations stage involves hands-on learning, as well. Students are encouraged to perform experiments and testing of objects. By performing experiments and solving problems, students develop logical and analytical thinking skills (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Teachers should provide short instruction and concrete examples and offer time for practice. With skills such as classification, compensation, and seriation developing during this stage, teachers should provide ample opportunities to organize groups of objects on “increasingly complex levels” (Woolfolk, A., 37).

Teaching those in the formal operations stage involves giving students the opportunity to advance their skills in scientific reasoning and problem solving, as begun in the concrete operations stage. Students should be offered open-ended projects in which they explore many solutions to problems. Opportunities to explore hypothetical possibilities should be granted to these students often. As the text states, teachers need to teach the “broad concepts” of the material while relating it to their lives. Idealism is assumed to be acquired by a person in the formal operations stage; therefore, understanding broad concepts and their application to one’s life aid in the realization of ideal concepts.

Bruner also proposed that a child acts on his own environment for learning. Social interaction takes place mainly to move a young child away from egocentricism. It is also important to note that Bruner stated that a child either held the mental structure for conservation, for example, or he did not. A child in the preoperational stage could not be taught to understand the liquid volume experiment; she does not possess the mental structure of a child in concrete operations.

As part of their cognitive development, children also develop schemes, which are mental representations of people, objects, or principles. These schemes can be changed or altered through what Bruner called assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation is information we already know. Accommodation involves adapting one’s existing knowledge to what is perceived. Disequilibrium occurs when new knowledge does not fit with one’s accumulated knowledge. When one reaches what Bruner called equilibrium, assimilation and accommodation have occurred to create a new stage of development (Woolfolk, A., 2004). When learning the concept of conservation, a child must first “struggle” with the idea that the liquid amount in the cylinders has not changed (disequilibrium). After accommodating the new knowledge, equilibrium occurs, and the child may advance to a new cognitive stage (concrete operations).

Around this time, another psychologist was offering his views on child cognitive development. Lev Vygotsky offered an alternative to Bruner’s stages of cognitive development. Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Development became a major influence in the field of psychology and education (Woolfolk, A., 2004). This theory stated that students learn through social interactions and their culture – much different from Bruner’s theory that stated children act on their environment to learn. Through what Vygotsky called “dialogues,” we socially interact and communicate with others to learn the cultural values of our society. Vygotsky also believed that “human activities take place in cultural settings and cannot be understood apart from these settings” (Woolfolk, A., 45). Therefore, our culture helps shape our cognition.

Through these social interactions, we move toward more individualized thinking. The co-constructed process involves people interacting during shared activities, usually to solve a problem (Woolfolk, A., 2004). When the child receives help through this process, he or she may be able to utilize better strategies in the future, should a similar problem arise. The co-constructed dialogues lead to internalization, which in turn leads one to independent thinking (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Scaffolding is another Vygotskian principle for the sociocultural perspective. Scaffolding involves providing the learner with hints or clues for problem solving in order to allow the student to better approach the problem in the future (Woolfolk, A., 2004). While Bruner would assume the student does not yet have the mental structures to solve such a problem, Vygotsky would offer encouragement or strategies, in the form of scaffolding, in order for the student to attempt the problem.

The development of language is considered to be a major principle of Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. The language of a certain group of people indicates their cultural beliefs and value system. For example, a tribe with many words meaning “hunting” indicates that hunting is an important aspect of their lives. The text states that children learn language much the same way that children learn cognitive skills. Vygotsky states that humans may have “built in biases, rules, and constraints about language that restrict the number of possibilities considered” (Woolfolk, A., 2004). A child’s thinking regarding these language constraints is very important in language development (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Another aspect of language development involves private speech. Private speech is self-talk children (and adults) may use to guide actions and aid in thinking. While Bruner may view private speech as egocentric or immature, Vygotsky understood the importance of self-directed speech. Private speech is considered to be self-directed regulation and communication with the self, and becomes internalized after about nine years (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Vygotsky also emphasized the importance of cultural tools in cognition. Cultural tools can be any technological tool or any symbolic tool which aids in communication (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Language, the media, television, computers, and books are only a handful of all the cultural tools available for problem solving or learning. Higher-level processing is “mediated by psychological tools, such as language, signs, and symbols” (Woolfolk, A., 2004). After receiving co-constructed help, children internalize the use of the cultural tools, and are better able to utilize the tools in the future on their own (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Another Vygotskian principle for teaching involves the zone of proximal development. Like Bruner, Vygotsky believed that there were some problems out of a child’s range of understanding. However, in contrast, Vygotsky believed that given proper help and assistance, children could perform a problem that Bruner would consider to be out of the child’s mental capabilities. The zone is the area at which a child can perform a challenging task, given appropriate help (Woolfolk, A., 2004).

Bruner and Vygotsky also differ in how they approach discovery learning. Bruner advocated for discovery learning with little teacher intervention, while Vygotsky promoted guided discovery in the classroom. Guided discovery involves the teacher offering intriguing questions to students and having them discover the answers through testing hypotheses (Woolfolk, A., 2004). The students are engaged in the discovery process; however, they are still receiving assistance from a more knowledgeable source.

A teacher utilizing Vygotskian methods for teaching would be a very active member in her student’s education. The teacher would apply the technique of scaffolding by providing assistance and offering feedback when relating new information (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Teachers should also make sure that students are provided adequate tools for learning. Students should be taught how to use tools such as the computer, resource books, and graphs in order to better utilize these tools in the future (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Teaching in the Vygotskian method would also incorporate group or peer learning (Woolfolk, A., 2004). By having students tutor each other through dialogues and scaffolding, the students can begin to internalize the new information and come to a better understanding of the material.

I believe that both Bruner and Vygotsky provided educators with important views on cognitive development in the child. Bruner proposed that children progress through the stages of cognitive development through maturation, discovery methods, and some social transmissions through assimilation and accommodation (Woolfolk, A., 2004). Vygotsky’s theory stressed the importance of culture and language on one’s cognitive development.

Regarding the two cognitive theories, I would be more apt to apply Vygotskian principles to my classroom. I believe that principles such as scaffolding, co-constructed knowledge, dialogue, and cultural tools are all important components of a student’s knowledge acquisition. By helping students within their zone of proximal development, we offer them useful learning strategies which they internalize and utilize later. Bruner proposed many applicable educational strategies, such as discovery learning with an emphasis on activity and play. However, Vygotsky incorporated the importance of social interactions and a co-constructed knowledge base to the theory of cognitive development.


In conclusion, a teacher’s focus should be to provide assistance to students in need, and provide cultural tools as educational resources. Teachers should provide for group and peer learning, in order for students to support each other through the discovery process. Especially in today’s diverse classroom, the teacher needs to be sensitive to her student’s cultural background and language, and be an active participant in his knowledge construction.



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علامہ اقبال اوپن یونیورسٹی  کی   حل شدہ اسائنمنٹس۔ پی ڈی ایف۔ ورڈ فائل۔ ہاتھ سے لکھی ہوئی، لیسن پلین، فائنل لیسن پلین، پریکٹس رپورٹ، ٹیچنگ پریکٹس، حل شدہ تھیسس، حل شدہ ریسرچ پراجیکٹس انتہائی مناسب ریٹ پر گھر بیٹھے منگوانے کے لیے  واٹس ایپ پر رابطہ کریں۔ اس کے علاوہ داخلہ بھجوانے ،فیس جمع کروانے ،بکس منگوانے ،آن لائن ورکشاپس،اسائنمنٹ ایل ایم ایس پر اپلوڈ کروانے کے لیے رابطہ کریں۔


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