Sometimes, when our children read aloud from their favourite storybook or a news article, they might not be able to recognise some words and would end up rushing through the pronunciation or even make up their own words.
So how can parents help their kids to ensure accurate pronunciation? Read on.
(1) Show them books with nonsensical words.
The key message you want to convey here is that assuming the pronunciation of words can be problematic because some words are special made up words that your children will have never seen before. Because these words are unfamiliar to your kids, they will start to have skepticism whenever they are reading and will thus get into the habit of enunciating each word.
Example – The poem “Uffia” by Harriet R. White from A Nonsense Anthology by Carolyn Wells, (see Picture 1), a book which you could find online here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/9380
When sporgles spanned the floreate mead
And cogwogs gleet upon the lea,
Uffia gopped to meet her love
Who smeeged upon the equat sea.
Dately she walked aglost the sand;
The boreal wind seet in her face;
The moggling waves yalped at her feet;
Pangwangling was her pace.
Dr. Seuss books in particular contain tons of made up words that should easily influence your children to spend time pronouncing each word properly.
(2) Use a metronome to maintain their reading pacing.
Have your children read any text to the beat of your finger (or any phone app that produces a rhythm like this: https://bulletproofmusician.com/five-best-metronome-apps). By doing this, you could teach them to practise reading the syllables properly and accurately, even for words they are familiar with.
Poems are particularly effective in this practice due to the nice way they sound when read aloud at an even pace. It could make the practice particularly fun for your children. Once your children’s reading accuracy improves, you are free to speed up the rhythm to let them read at a normal pace or maybe even faster.
To help you out, here are a number of online poetry books for children you can access for free:
- A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/25609/25609-h/25609-h.htm
- Nonsense Books, by Edward Lear: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13650/13650-h/13650-h.htm
- The Peter Patter Book of Nursery Rhymes, by Leroy F. Jackson: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22014/22014-h/22014-h.htm
Next time, I shall share with you a few more tips to improving your children’s reading accuracy. Make sure to like this page and watch this space for more useful advice!