You can build parents’ confidence in being their child’s reading partner at home by teaching them how to read aloud expressively and ask their child open-ended and child-friendly questions. It’s best to never assume that families already know how to help children read at home. The graphic below provides you with some examples you can give parents of how they can help their child learn to read. 

In Literacy for All Young Learners, Mary Renck Jalongo also offers some tips for coaching families in basic ways of talking about books:

  • Point to pictured objects, and ask the child to name them: “What do you call this?”
  • Link to a child’s interests: “This book is about a boy who likes animals, just like you do.”
  • Demonstrate how to summarize: “So, she eats the porridge because she is hungry. Then, she falls asleep.”
  • Ask the child to make inferences: “How do you think he feels? How do you know?”
  • Refer to the child’s prior knowledge: “He is riding a bike, just like you do.”
  • Encourage a prediction: “What do you think will happen next?”
  • Ask the child to suggest solutions: “How do you think she will find her way through the forest?”
  • Invite the child to explain: “How does she get across the stream?”
  • Discuss characters’ actions and motives: “Why do you think he says that?”
  • Invite the child to imagine beyond the story: “What do you think she did the next day?”

Share the reading tips you give children’s parents and families in the comment section below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages! Be sure to order a copy of Literacy for All Young Learners for even more strategies on supporting literacy learning from preschool through third grade with specific suggestions for ELL students.

Read the first part of this two-part series!