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  • Writer's picturePer Clingweld

Igniting a Love for Language: Teacher and Mom Shares Her Best Tips

Updated: Apr 4

As a teacher and mother, Emelie Östman-Fritzin knows how important it is to spark children's curiosity and joy for language early on. In her job, she encounters students daily who find reading boring and difficult. But at home, she has found a tool that makes a difference - the digital learning platform Kattalo.

At Kattalo we are curious about how our users work with the app at home. That's why we interviewed Emelie to get her best tips, insights and wishes. In this post we'll be sharing her thoughts - from the importance of letter sounds to creating motivating learning moments in everyday life. 

Letter Sounds are Key

A realization that has grown both privately and professionally is how crucial it is to understand the connection between letters and sounds, says Emelie. 

"Letter sounds form the foundation of our entire language. Understanding the principle and daring to sound out words is the key to cracking the reading code. It's something we need to talk more about in general, not least with parents," she says.

That's why Emelie was immediately drawn to Kattalo's clear focus on letter sounds through play and repetition. The app makes practice natural and fun, she believes.

Find a Routine that Works 

Emelie uses Kattalo regularly with her children aged 7 and 4. Usually it's fifteen minutes after dinner, before the evening reading time. Everyone is a bit tired then and needs to wind down.

"We sit together on the couch with our own tablets. I'm not super pushy, it's enough to just be there and give praise. The kids decide for themselves what to do in the app based on level," she explains. 

Finding a time that fits into the family's daily life is a good way to get regular practice, Emelie believes. Her 7-year-old has already come far in his reading development but thinks it's fun to be challenged at increasingly difficult levels. And the 4-year-old is inspired by big brother and wants to keep up.

Play Your Way Forward and Cheer a Lot

A common mistake is for the practice to become too serious and performance-oriented, says Emelie. Instead, her advice is to make it playful and cozy together.

"I believe in sitting with them and really CELEBRATING every little progress. It can be enough to say 'Wow, now you wrote 'book' all by yourself!'. By giving lots of positive feedback, you make reading fun."

Emelie appreciates that Kattalo is self-instructing and that the children get direct responses from a happy character. It allows the parent to relax in their role. 

"The best part is that it doesn't depend on me knowing everything about language development. The app guides the children and we can just follow along and cheer them on!"

The Gift of a Linguistic Start in Life

To parents who want to support their children's language development, Emelie has some concrete advice. Setting aside time for shared reading and writing from an early age yields invaluable effects, she believes.

"I wish all parents understood what a gift they give their children if they make reading fun and exciting from ages 3-4. It doesn't have to be complicated - sounding out words, playing with words and exploring language together is enormously beneficial!"

Emelie highlights apps like Kattalo as a simple way for parents to incorporate language practice into their daily lives:

"With an app in your pocket, you always have a teacher close at hand. The kids think it's fun while also developing their skills. Fifteen minutes a day makes a big difference over time." 

She would like to see parents prioritize this type of activity higher than, for example, video games:  

"If the choice is between a new video game or an app like Kattalo, invest in the latter. You're giving your child a fantastic start in language that means a lot for the future."

At the same time, Emelie underscores that responsibility for language development is shared between home and school. At a time when reading ability is declining in general, commitment is required from every angle.

"The school's efforts are extremely important, but unfortunately not always enough. As a parent, through small, recurring language sessions, you can give your child the best conditions. It's a gift for life!"

What does Emelie wish for from Kattalo going forward? Translation of instructions into more languages to include all children. Symbols on the exercises for the youngest who cannot yet read. And the upcoming reading comprehension module sounds exciting, she thinks.  

At Kattalo, we thank Emelie for so generously sharing her thoughts. Through the engagement of teachers and parents, we are constantly learning more about how we can support children's language development in the best way. Together we give more children the key to the fantastic world of language!

Do you also want to give your child a kickstart in literacy? Try Kattalo free for 7 days with your child.

Ps. Get in touch if you have any questions or thoughts - we're here for you!



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