Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Perfect Age to Begin (I)

Posted by Siti Mazlita |
Starting With An Infant ( 3 months to 6months)

If you are beginning your reading program with a 3-6 months old, he will be majoring in the first step of the Reading Pathway. This step will be the heart of your program. The most important things to remember are:

1. Show words very quickly.
2. Add new words often.

The wonderful thing about a tiny infant is that he is a pure intellectual. He learns anything with a total impartiality and without any bias what-soever. He learns fir learning's sake, without any strings attached. Of course, his survival depends on this characteristics but it is an admirable characteristics and is no less admirable for being tied to his survival.

Between 3-6 months of age a tiny baby is able to take in language at an astounding rate. He is also seeing detail consistently. In short, he is able to absorb spoken language without the slightest difficulty, as long as we make that information loud and clear. He is able to absorb written language as long as it large and clear. It is our objective to keep reading words large and bold so that the baby can always see them easily.

At this stage a baby is using sounds to talk to us. However, it will be months before we are able to decode all these sounds as the words, sentences and paragraphs that they are. In adult terms, then the baby cannot talk.

He has superb sensory pathways to take in information, but he has nit yet developed the motor pathways sufficiently to get information back out in a way that can readily be understood.Since this is the case, someone will no doubt ask you how can teach a baby to read when he cannot yet talk. Reading is done with the visual pathway, not the mouth. Readings is the process of taking in language of putting out language in its oral form.

Reading is a sensory ability as is hearing. Talking is a motor ability as is writing. Talking and writing require motor skills that the baby doesn't have.  The fact that your baby is too young to speak and is not able to say his reading words does not negate the fact that you are increasing and enrichment his language by teaching him to read.  Indeed such investment in teaching the baby to read will speed his talking and broaden his vocabulary. Remember that language is language, whether transmitted to the brain via the eye or via the car.

At The Institute for the achievement of Human Potential we use reading as one of the important means of teaching brain-injured children to speak. Reading aloud for a 4 months old is impossible. This is to his great advantage since no one will be tempted to try to get him to do this. He can read as you and I read silently, quickly and effectively. At this age of tiny child a glutton  for information. He will probably demand more information than you are able give him. When you begin your reading program you may often find that at the end of a session he will demand more. Resist the temptation of repeating his words again or doing another group just then. He might happily see 4 or 5 groups of words and still want more.

You can actually show several sets back-to-back with 3 or 4 months old and get away with it for a few months, but he prepared to change in the near future because you will need to do so. Remember he is a linguistic genius - be prepared to feed him with a lot of new single words.


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