School Readiness

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Tapping Into Technology - Language and Literacy

Tapping Into Technology Booklet Cover; image of children with adult holding and looking at digital device; Fairfax Futures logo




Page 5 - Language and Literacy

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Children enter the world communicating by using sounds, facial expressions, and movement to tell us what they are feeling or what they need. As they grow and develop, children learn to respond to our words and begin to say words of their own. Children’s abilities to listen, think, speak, read, and write are all connected, regardless of the language they are learning. When we talk to children, we expose them to new content and vocabulary. The more relationships children have with caring adults, the more exposure to language they will have.

There are several ways that technology can be helpful as a tool to enhance language development.

Video chat with family and friends

Geographic distance is no longer a barrier due to advances in communication technology. Video chatting allows children to engage in conversations with family members and friends regardless of geographic distance.

  • Use video chatting services to talk to family and friends in other cities, states, or countries.
  • Use video chatting services to connect with your child when you are away from home, such as for work or on a trip, as this can help ease feelings of separation and provide opportunities to connect by sharing experiences.

Play games that encourage children to talk and record their voices

Interactive games engage children in the creative process, exercise language production, and empower children to create their own media.

  • Download drawing applications that record your child’s voice and every brush stroke as they create a picture. The process of creating the drawing plays back in a video that you can watch with your child or share with family and friends.
  • Find collaborative storytelling applications that allow your child to select characters and work with a friend to create and tell a story. Stories are saved in a video format that can be watched and talked about later.
  • Engage in eBook programs that allow your child to record his/her voice as narration or funny character voices. The new voices and narration can be saved and the story can be read with the child’s recordings.

Read Electronic Books (eBooks)

Incorporating the use of eBooks into regular reading times and alongside traditional print books exposes children to various forms of literacy.

  • eBooks instantly expand the size of your home library. With the click of a button or the tap of a screen, you can access hundreds of titles, including many children’s favorites, often at no cost.
  • eBooks often offer interactive features that build literacy skills. Read-to-me narration highlights the words on the page as they are read. Sound-itout words allow children to highlight specific words and listen to them one syllable at a time. If you find that these features are distracting for your child, you may be able to turn them off.
  • Many eBooks offer language features that give readers the ability to hear and read a story in a different language. This supports multilingual families and introduces children to new languages.

PDF version of Tapping Into Technology *

* Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-8100 or TTY 711.

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