Working out tricky words – Primary school age

Encourage your child to read aloud to you
as much as possible. Not just from books but anywhere you see words like when you’re shopping
or looking at a menu. This will help with their reading, spelling, comprehension and
social skills. Your child’s self esteem will also be boosted
by your engagement in their education, and that will help their academic performance.
When your child is reading aloud, listen to them so you can support them. If they come
across a tricky word, try the pause, prompt, praise technique. It’s a great way to help
your child work these words out. When your child gets to a word and they don’t
know what it is, pause for five seconds.This will give them the opportunity to figure it
out by themselves. If they still don’t know what it is after five seconds say the word
for them and let them carry on reading aloud. If your child misreads a word immediately
point it out to them but don’t tell them what the word should be. Encourage them to read
to the end of the sentence as that might help them figure out the correct word.
If your child then misreads the word again give them a little clue, for instance if the
propper word is toe but your child keeps misreading it as too you might say something like ‘I
don’t think that’s the right word. Look at the picture on this page. It’s a foot. Can
you think of what the word might be?’ If your child still misreads the word say
it for them. ‘That word is toe’. And encourage them to continue reading the story aloud.
Support your child’s reading with as much positive reinforcement as possible. Phrases
like ‘Your reading is getting so much better. I’m really proud of you’ boosts your child’s
self confidence and will help them improve. I hope this technique of helping your child
with tricky words works for you. In a nutshell, listen to your child when they’re reading
aloud so you can help them. Pause for five seconds to let them figure out tricky words.
Prompt with up to two clues if they misread the word. Praise to boost your child’s confidence
and help them improve. We’ll see you next time.

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