Improving literacy in the age of technology

Ways to improve your child’s literacy

Due to the role technology plays in our daily lives, it can be difficult to get a child to read outside of school. In fact, getting them to read at school is sometimes a challenge too! However, it is important to find a way for them to read what they will like. Here are some suggestions:

read together

Regardless of your age, reading together is a great way to improve literacy and get your child reading. If they are reluctant readers, you may need to read for them at first. Eventually, they can take turns reading the pages. Start small and as your resistance increases, go longer. According to Renaissance Learning, children need at least 15 minutes of reading per day to begin to improve. Reading together and discussing what you read will also help improve your general literacy, including media literacy.

Reading 15 minutes a day can improve literacy

use reading programs

Your child’s school may have reading programs like Accelerated Reader. Some kids thrive on these shows, while others don’t see the appeal. However, check with your child to see what programs your school uses and what they enjoy about them. For example, they may like the achievement of getting 100% on comprehension tests or the rewards and recognition they receive from their teacher. You can then use these incentives at home to encourage more reading.

Find what works for them

Some kids can’t stand a great novel, but they could read it in graphic novel format. Others may prefer to read online or prefer audio books. Some kids may just want to read books about dinosaurs. If you play into their interests, they are more likely to enjoy reading. Therefore, they are more likely to read for pleasure.

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For some online reading opportunities, check out this list from the BookTrust charity.

Play video games that include reading

Many RPGs feature a lot of text that moves the story forward. Other games may be specifically designed to encourage reading. If your child is a gamer, this is a great route to take. With a fun game, they may not recognize that they are being asked to read. Also, some games can lead to reading in different ways. The National Literacy Trust found that 79% of young people who play video games read video game-related material. This includes information on the game itself, game-related reviews and blogs, game-related books, and fan fiction.

Family game expert Andy Robertson worked with The National Literacy Trust to compile a list of video games that promote literacy. You can see that list here. He can also explore different reading and storytelling skill-building apps to encourage literacy in different ways.

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