Writing Helps Learning to Read

Reading and writing are considered the two fundamental pillars of literacy. Educators and parents alike lay great stress on early reading, but writing skills have unfortunately been largely neglected.

Finally writing started getting it’s due a couple of years ago when the Carnegie Corporation of New York commissioned the report ‘Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading’. The report highlighted that writing is in fact a powerful tool for enhancing reading skills as it improves children’s ability to read a text accurately, fluently and comprehensively.

Slowly classrooms across the USA started witnessing a writing revolution. The report’s three core instructional practices — make students write about what they read, increase how much they write, and teach the writing skills and processes that go into creating a text — were gradually made an integral part of school curricula. Indeed, this did prove quite effective in improving student reading.

Now we are on the brink of another transformation as the strong connection between learning to write and read is being irrevocably established. It’s no longer just about writing helping to improve reading but in fact, learning to write enabling learning to read as well. As a matter of fact, where the conventional techniques of teaching small children to read have faltered, a novel method of teaching reading by writing is proving to be immensely successful.

You may be wondering how early writing can help in learning to read. It works in various ways like:

  • Get a grasp of reading fundamentals — Children who learn to write first will automatically imbibe how to associate the different sounds with their corresponding letters. They become familiar with the language and this sets the stage for quick and successful reading.
  • Read what they write — When children write something from their thoughts, it follows that they will be able to read what they have written. This will lead to a deep confidence in reading and writing that just cannot be achieved by other methods.
  • Freedom to read what they like — Traditional reading techniques follow a systematic approach where children are exposed to certain words and they learn how to read the same. Even early reading books have specific words and phrases that are repeated again and again. In contrast, learning to read from writing carries an inherent lack of restrictions as the children can write on any topic they like. This freedom will serves to spark their interest and brings a sense of pride as well. Very soon it transforms into a natural love for reading.

Therefore, teaching children to read by teaching them to write is indeed the best way to teach a child to read! This methodology of writing first and reading later can be introduced in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, or even at home.

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