Starting to teach ABCD marks an important step in the child’s life. An alphabet is much more than a collection of letters. It is the foundation for developing reading, comprehension and literacy skills. Read our tips below before purchasing learning books and products for your kid.
How to Teach the Alphabet – Tips for teaching ABCD
1. Few Letters at a Time
Explore: Language Development
Do not try to teach all the 26 letters to your kid at once. Instead focus on a few letters at a time and allow your toddler to see, hear, and experience these letters in a variety of ways. Research has shown that a child around the 2-year mark would find it difficult to learn beyond A, B, C and D. Look for books that focus on few letters at a time.
2. Adequate Reinforcement
Alphabet books (ABCD Books) are helpful in getting you started but you should also use reinforcement approaches to supplement books. Without adequate reinforcement, children tend to forget rapidly. Alphabet coloring pages, crafts and charts, writing tools etc. help reinforce your child’s knowledge of letters.
3. Design of the ABCD Book
The design of ABCD book is important. Often you will find book pages emphasizing the ‘object’ more than the ‘letter’. Naturally, the child’s attention would be on the object and not on the letter at the top corner of the page! Poorly designed ABCD books do not deliver good learning outcomes. Search for books that give equal prominence to both the object and the letter.
4. Examples and Illustrations
ABCD Books usually teach letters using objects as examples. A for Apple, B for Ball etc. As a parent, you should pay attention to the quality of these examples. For example, Q for Quail (a bird), is a bad example for an Indian child! Worse some products in the market, directly or indirectly reference violence and other forms of inappropriate exposure.
5. Phonics based Approach
Unlike Indian languages, the English language is not phonetic in nature. Researchers have identified 44 basic sounds but there are only 26 letters to represent them. To overcome this problem, experts now recommend a phonics based approach to teach the English language. We advise you to look out for products that are use and/or complement a phonics based approach.