Reading and Writing

Speaking, listening, reading and writing functions are all connected.

The connections between spoken and written language are well established in that (a) spoken language provides the foundation for the development of reading and writing; (b) spoken and written language have a reciprocal relationship, such that each builds on the other to result in general language and literacy competence, starting early and continuing through childhood into adulthood; (c) children with spoken language problems frequently have difficulty learning to read and write, and children with reading and writing problems frequently have difficulty with spoken language; and that (d) instruction in spoken language can result in growth in written language, and instruction in written language can result in growth in spoken language.American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2001). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to reading and writing in children and adolescents [Guidelines].

With an understanding of these connections, a speech-language pathologist can play a key role in a child’s literacy development. For example, an important skill when learning to read is phonemic awareness. This refers to the ability to identify, think about, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words. A speech-language pathologist can help children to develop or improve phonemic awareness skills through the use of various fun and motivating activities.