To put it simply, reading affects writing and writing affects reading. In particular, learning to write can help children develop and reinforce the skills they need to become effective readers. Some of the most significant benefits that learning to write can have on a child’s reading ability include:
1. Writing helps children learn phonics
When children learn to write, they are also learning the Alphabetic Principle, that is, the letters of the alphabet (in particular, their visual representation) and the sounds that each letter makes. When a child writes a word, they need to ‘hear it’, then they have to associate the sound they hear with a letter. As children write, they are constantly performing this task of linking sounds to letters.
2. Writing develops a range of skills
Writing requires children to apply a range of skills, including those used for reading. Children need to develop their motor skills to write using a pen or pencil. They need to use logic, for example, if they’re writing a story with a beginning, middle and end. It also requires them to consider the audience they are writing for, and to use their imagination. Learning to write is therefore a much harder task than learning to read, and performing all these tasks at once helps give a child more confidence when it comes to reading.
3. Writing gives children a head start on handwriting
Adults may take for granted many general rules of print that children learn when learning to write, for example, writing left to right, writing from the top of the page to the bottom, putting spaces between words, paragraphs, etc. When learning to write, children become more aware of these concepts and understand how and why they are used, which gives them a more complete understanding of books they read.
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