Play it forward and WIN books

Is my child reading?

18 May 2018 - 08:54
Image: Rico

Winners: week 4

Phumelela Ngobeni and Ernst Nieuwoudt have won 10 books each to donate to a school, reading club or library of their choice. Sharon Nkabinde has won a Nal’ibali reading-at-home starter pack.

Learning to read is a journey of discovery. You may notice that your child who used to run off when you tried to read to him, now has a favourite picture book which he brings to you to read − over and over again. Or maybe you’re surprised the first time that your older child sits down with her younger brother and pretends to read to him from a familiar picture book.

If you read with your children regularly, you will notice that their book habits change over time. Here are some of the "signposts" that point out a successful reading journey.

  • Babies may become quiet as you start to read a book to them, showing that they are listening. Sometimes they may clap or kick their legs to show their excitement. Some babies make sounds as you read to them. They are trying to imitate you.
  • As children start to try to "read" on their own, they often turn the pages of the book, looking at the pictures while they make up their own story. This shows that they have learnt that the pictures give clues to what the story is about.
  • Are there some storybooks that your child asks you to read again and again? You may find your child "reading" these books on his own by looking at the pictures and telling the story. He may use a mixture of words with some of the actual words from the story. This is an important step in learning to read because it means that he realises that written words stay the same each time you read them.
  • As your child begins to read aloud for herself and comes across an unfamiliar word, you may notice that she tries to guess what the word is by using what has already happened in the story to help her. This is a clear sign that your child is well on her way to being an independent reader. She knows that reading is about making meaning.

When you go on a journey, you are not called a "traveller" but when you have reached your destination you are one. Learning to read is the same.Your children are readers at each stage of their reading development journey. Make Nal’ibali a part of that journey.

Nal’ibali is growing a collection of stories in a range of South African languages. You can find them on the Nal’ibali website or mobisite.

Image: Rico

Reading aloud to your children:

  • shows them that you value books and reading;
  • gives you things to talk about together;
  • builds a bond with them;
  • allows them to experience reading as a satisfying activity;
  • motivates them to learn to read for themselves and then to keep reading;
  • shows them how we read and how books work;
  • lets them enjoy stories that are beyond their current reading ability; and
  • develops their vocabulary and language abilities.

Try reading this story to your children

Rediscover your first stories and make new memories. Read The Sky is Falling Down retold by Wendy Hartmann with your child.


Get your Nal’ibali supplement

•     Sunday Times Express (Western Cape) – English and isiXhosa – Sunday,  May 27

•     Sunday World (North West Province) – English and Setswana – Sunday,  May 27

•     Sunday World (KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng) – English and isiZulu – Sunday,  May 27

•     Sunday World (Free State) – English and Sesotho – Sunday,  May 27

•     Sunday World (Limpopo) – English and Sepedi – Sunday,  May 27

•     English and Xitsonga supplements will be available at selected SA Post Offices and reading clubs in Limpopo

•     The Herald (Thursday 31 May) and Daily Dispatch (Tuesday May 29) (Eastern Cape) – English and isiXhosa. 


Play it forward: win and donate books

Two lucky readers can win 10 books each week and donate them to a school, reading club or library of their choice.

The third runner-up will win a Nal'ibali reading-at-home starter pack.

Books are donated by Tiso Blackstar Group and Jacana Media.

To enter, contact patti.mcdonald@tisoblackstar.co.za before 5pm on Thursday, May 24 and give one reason why we need to read to children in their mother tongue. Include your name, cellphone number and physical address.

Winners will be announced on Friday, May 25. Terms and conditions apply.

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