This video of 36-month old Sam demonstrates school readiness language skills in many ways. Sam accurately uses the “-‘s” to mark for possession (e.g., Caroline’s Dad). He shows a solid understanding of turn-taking in a conversation. He is able to ask as well as answer questions accurately. He is able to remember what he heard his cousin Caroline tell him 2 weeks prior about a truck that my brother-in-law has. He demonstrates solid articulation, or sound production, skills by using intelligible speech.
However, in my experience, the most important school readiness skill that Sam reveals in the video is when I comment on the school bus going by and he immediately diverts his gaze out the window to see what I am talking about. This ability to listen to auditory information and quickly process visual information will guarantee him success in the classroom, where so much time is spend on listening to the teacher and looking at that which she or he is talking about. Learning to read depends on a child’s ability to pair auditory and visual information since reading has both a sound and letter component. His ability to switch from auditory to visual processing mode quickly will bring him much success when a teacher speaks to him about a word on the “Sight Word Wall” or about numbers, clocks, money, maps, etc. (i.e., any concept that has a visual component to it).