Welcome to PreLiteracy.com, a site dedicated to young children in the process of learning speech sounds and getting ready to read. The idea was simple, to take a system of hand cues used in speech therapy and create them on picture cards with the letter for that sound. Once children become familiar with the cues and pictures, they can use these to sequence the sounds into words. Combine this with language rich activities, such as creating books and acting out stories, to create a series of quality pre-school early literacy experiences.
Teachers and speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have known for years the importance of multi-sensory instruction for children who initially have difficulty mastering reading. Multi-sensory methods engage children using more than just one learning modality, and encourage using multiple senses to take in and process information. If you have a child whose strength is not within the auditory learning modality, or learning best through listening, that child will especially benefit from multi-sensory instruction targeted at improving literacy skills.
This same principle using the speech cue cards can be applied to younger children who are just beginning to learn sounds and letters, as well as Kindergarten/First Graders who struggle with learning to read. Older children with mental retardation who have not yet mastered reading also can benefit from using the speech cue card system to improve phonological awareness and build their basic reading skills.
Language activities such as telling and acting out stories, theme related experiments, and child created booklets also build important early literacy skills. I have included ideas to incorporate these into a pre-school program or as part of your child's daily routine. These types of activities help children develop key language skills that will be necessary for later understanding and remembering what they read.
Parents may use these resources to work with their children to improve awareness of sounds and other early literacy skills so important for later reading success. Teachers and other educational specialists may use these resources for creating a quality pre-literacy or beginning literacy programs for their classroom or school. Speech-language therapists will find speech cue cards to be a useful tool in therapy, and can use the other resource materials to educate parents and address specific language therapy goals with their clients.
Please help get these free resources into the hands of those who influence the lives of young children, particularly children with special needs who may be at a higher risk for learning difficulties. Use these resources to help children achieve their potential in reading, so they can achieve their potential in life!
Dallas Reading and Language Services
Rachel Betzen MA, CCC/SLP