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Linking Early Speech to Reading

By Natalie Corbett Sampson, MSc, SLP(C) on Thu, Aug 19, 2021 @ 04:01 PM

Children typically start reading in the first years of elementary school, but building foundational skills to do so starts several years before they start sounding out words. Words of any language are made by mixing up and combining individual sounds. As babies learn to create words to speak, they do so by gaining phonological awareness; the ability to hear individual sounds and manipulate sounds to create and change the meaning. For example, by three a child knows that for most nouns, you add a /s/ sound to the end to mean more than one (cat to cats).writing connections

As children learn to speak, they often go through a period of time where their use of sounds is inaccurate. They may drop sounds from words, use the wrong sounds in the wrong places, leave out whole syllables. Examples of these common errors are:‘top!’ for ‘stop!’, ‘tat’ for ‘cat’ and ‘nana’ for ‘banana’. Speech errors are part of the learning process, as with crawling and walking, researchers have developed a timetable of milestones to mark expected ages by which children will use each sound accurately. 

But what if they don’t?

When speech errors persist beyond the age they are expected to be corrected, a Speech Language Pathologist may recommend intervention to improve the child’s use of sounds in words, phrases and sentences. Speech therapy will help a child improve intelligibility which in turn boosts confidence and communication skills and reduces frustration and negative behaviour. 

And strengthens a shaky foundation for reading. 

The sounds the child is struggling within speaking are the same ones she will need to use to read. Having a strong enough understanding of ‘t’ and ‘k’ so she can hear the difference and produce them differently helps when learning the letters that represent the sounds. 

English is hard. It has 44 sounds but only 26 letters, spelling rules and exceptions to rules, words that look the same and sound different, words that sound the same and look different. It’s important that all early readers have as many tools in their toolbox as possible including intelligible speech, strong phonological skills and the confidence to tackle reading head-on that comes with being a competent, assured communicator.

Are you wondering if your child is developing age-appropriate phonological skills?  We offer a complimentary Speech and Language screening to help you determine if your child is meeting communication milestones by gaining and using skills as expected for their age.  Simply click below to learn more and sign up.

Speech Language Screener

 

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February Means Primary Registration!

By Natalie Corbett Sampson, MSc, SLP(C) on Thu, Feb 11, 2021 @ 01:08 PM

creative_writing_workshop_-328986-editedSchool entry is a huge step for kids. They are introduced to new settings and new people who don’t know them well enough to anticipate their needs and wants. They learn new rules and routines as well as new facts and concepts. What if they don’t have the tools necessary to understand what is being said around them? Or the skills to make themselves understood? Making sure they have solid communication skills as they venture into all that newness is essential to optimising their school entry experience. 

Pre-primary and Primary kids should be able to:

  • Speak in full sentences, using a variety of words such as action words, labels or nouns, attributes (colour and size), prepositions (in, on, under) and pronouns (he, she, I, you) correctly.
  • Follow complex directions
  • Answer questions that ask Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
  • Speak clearly enough to be understood by unfamiliar people the majority of the time.

Some children have difficulty with language learning or trouble learning to pronounce the sounds of English well enough to be understood. If a child is having difficulty learning language and speech skills, it may be necessary to consult a speech-language pathologist (SLP). That professional will assess the child’s skills, identify any specific areas that need some intervention and provide therapy to address these weaknesses.

Sign up for your free Speech Language Screener today.

Speech Language Screener

 

 

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A New Library!

By Britt P. Curran on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 03:24 PM

 

The Halifax Central Library is set to open this year and the buzzboth locally and internationallyis off the charts. Or, shall we say, off the shelves?

Official construction for the HCL started in 2012 but progress is picking up quickly! The architects behind this project are Fowler Bauld & Mitchell, and schmidt hammer lassen. Both firms have blended concepts to create an innovative and sustainable five-story complex with panoramic views of Citadel Hill, Dartmouth and the water. The building is also cloaked in glass—a feature to “bring the outdoors, in." 

The new library will be "A Place for Everyone" to "learn new ideas, share knowledge, network with others, grow and explore." The space also provides a top-of-the-line information hub, which will combine new technology with trusted, traditional library techniques.

Eager to know what's planned for each level? Here's the breakdown:

  • The 1st floor is the building's main entrance for "Customer Services" and "Holds/Pickups." Also on this level is bestsellers, newspapers, magazines, and the highly-anticipated Paul O'Regan Hall for performances and programs!

  • Right up the sculptural staircase is the 2nd level, a space designed for children, teens and families. A Media Room and Book Tree are among this floor's extremely modern and cool aspects.

  • The 3rd floor is devoted to adult learning and certainly pays homage to our province's heritage! A First Nations Circle and a section on languages stand out as this level's top features.

  • The 4th floor is a jam-packed spot! Aside from the main reference library as well as adult non-fiction, this level features a nod to our country's war history with a memorial and books of remembrance.

  • Finally, the 5th floor! Deemed as "Halifax's Living Room," this level features a café, rooftop terrace, and a vast fiction collection! 

With amenities such as WiFi, an atrium creating natural light, and the coziest of reading corners, the Halifax Central Library is sure to be a communal, comfortable, inspiring and educational place for locals and tourists alike.

Halifax is known for being a historic metropolis. Here’s hoping the HCL makes its mark on the county's literary culture—and creates a new kind of beautiful history for our coastal city!

library

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