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Surefire Guide to Teaching Literacy in Primary Schools

Deborah A., Supply Teacher
4 Jul 2023
5 min read
Surefire Guide to Teaching Literacy in Primary Schools

Literacy is the lifeblood of learning; the ability to read, write, speak, and listen, enabling us to communicate and understand each other effectively.

In the following sections, we’ll take you through some tips on approaching literacy in your next primary teaching role.

5 Tips for teaching literacy in primary schools

Below are five surefire tips for teaching literacy in primary schools:

1. Read aloud to pupils

Reading aloud is one of the most important things parents and teachers can do for children, even teenagers. According to Jim Trelease, the author of the Read Aloud Handbook, reading aloud to children is “the magic bullet for creating a lifelong reader.”

As a primary school teacher, reading aloud promotes language development and predicts reading success. Reading stories aloud helps children focus, which in turn improves their listening skills.

And as they listen to the text being read aloud, children are exposed to new phrases and words, which improves their vocabulary, comprehension level, and language skills. A good way to incorporate this as a teacher is to select age-appropriate stories, read them aloud using expressive voices, questions, and encouraging children to take turns reading the text.

2. Focus on phonics

When teaching literacy in primary schools, phonics cannot be overlooked. Phonics is a way to learn how to read and write by understanding the sounds that make up words.

Through phonics teaching, children learn the sounds that groups of letters make and how to match them to the right sounds when they read and write. For example, when we say the word "cat," we hear three sounds: "cuh," "aah," and "tuh." Through phonics, we learn that the letter "c" makes the "cuh" sound, the letter "a" makes the "aah" sound, and the letter "t" makes the "tuh" sound.

You can start by using games (word bingo), music, phonics apps, and real-life examples in teaching phonic instructions.

3. Provide regular feedback

Like any other educational activity, children can struggle during the initial stage, and teaching literacy is no different. As a teacher, one of the best ways to encourage your children in the course of teaching literacy is to provide regular feedback.

Start by giving regular feedback on reading, listening, and writing skills, highlighting areas where children are making errors or doing well, and praising their effort.

4. Incorporate multi-sensory teaching methods

Another tip for teaching literacy in primary schools is using multi-sensory teaching methods. By multi-sensory methods, we mean using multiple senses like sight, touch, sound, and even movements in teaching.

Examples of multi-sensory teaching methods include the use of visuals, kinaesthetic (or tactile) learning techniques, and auditory aids.

Teachers may also employ a combination of all methods at once. A good example would be a teacher showing an image of a plant to pupils, while also speaking and asking pupils to pass a physical plant to one another.

5. Gamify the Teaching Process

Children love to play games, whether console games or physical games. So, why not introduce the use of games in your teaching of literacy? One major benefit of gamifying literacy teaching in primary schools is that it increases children's interest while making the entire process fun and engaging.

You can start by introducing games like reading challenges with a leaderboard strategy, word games like Scrabble or Boggle to increase vocabulary, or escape room activities where students have to spell or pronounce words to get out. You can also use digital games like ABCmouse or Starfall to improve phonics.

In Conclusion

Teaching literacy in primary schools offers children, parents, and society numerous benefits. From improving children's ability to read, write, speak, and listen, it also provides them with communication skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Incorporating the above tips in your day-to-day teaching of literacy will help you make the process faster, easier, and more achievable.

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