Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > How Reading Helps Language Development
Speech and language lessons start in the uterus, where your unborn baby hears and responds to familiar voices. After birth, your newborn learns language by listening to the basic and distinct sounds (phonemes), such as the "tr" and "cl" sounds in the English language.
Reading to your newborn gives him or her comforting contact. You are also establishing an early reading routine, and this helps make future reading comfortable and fun.
As your newborn becomes a toddler and older, reading opens him or her to new ideas. It helps your child become more familiar with the sounds and rhythms of the language.
Reading is an important activity that can help children learn to think and express themselves in new ways. Your older child or teen may discover a new or stronger interest, which may help his or her self-esteem. Continue to read to your child, even as he or she gets older and seems to lose interest.
Reading books with children helps develop their language skills by:
Read to your child every day. Here are some tips to help you. Take your child's age into consideration as you use them.
Point to the pictures while you read.
This is so that your child can hold them and turn the pages.
Ask your child to point to familiar items and make the sounds that go with them. Say "Point to the fire engine" and "What sound does the fire engine make?"
Set aside time that you and your child can look forward to and talk about stories, words, and ideas.
Try to find books with new subjects that you think might interest your child.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Susan C. Kim MD - PediatricsKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineLouis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.