The Benefits of Books with Repeatable Lines

By Hearing First Team January 24, 2017

LSL Day by Day | Children's Books, parent advice, LSL strategies

Teaching your child who is deaf or hard of hearing to read can be a fun time of learning and exploration. By using tools such as predictable books that incorporate repeatable lines, you can implement important listening and spoken language (LSL) strategies while your child starts the process of learning to read.

Take a second to look back to your early childhood and try to remember your favorite books. Were you constantly returning to the same book that kept you engaged and entertained? Did the words flow together with ease? Could you memorize and recite each line without looking at the book? As it turns out, there actually is a rhyme and reason to these writing styles used by  authors who create popular children’s books. Experts call books that use repeatable lines predictable books, and this practice is a key factor in helping children learn and love to read. When you read books with repeatable lines with your child who is deaf or hard of hearing, you’re guiding them along the path to listen, talk and read on par with their hearing friends by the third grade. 

Simulate with Sound: The focus of early literacy for babies is to hear the spontaneous language of their parents. Repeatable lines in books create opportunities for you and your baby to play with sounds and words. When sounds are predictable, they create a pattern of listening that gives your baby more opportunities to catch the phrases and practice listening to them.

Try It Out: When reading to your baby, play with the rhymes by singing them or chanting them in the same rhythm each time. 

Predict and Play: When books are predictable, babies can listen for patterns, making it easier for them to listen and learn. Instead of just listening to you read, they can anticipate what comes next and participate in the story.

Try It Out: When reading books with predictable patterns, stop at various points in the story and see if your child fills in the missing word or phrase.

Read What You Hear: Predictable books recited over and over allow young children to read and reread the story, even before they know how to read by themselves. This helps them begin to understand the early literacy practice, memorize lines and gain confidence in their reading ability.

Try It Out: Read the same book over a period of time and take turns “reading,” making sure to accept your child’s version of the story. Talk about aspects of the storyline that promote your child’s speech and language learning goals.

Reading predictable books with repeatable lines early on can be a helpful tool when teaching your child who is deaf or hard of hearing how to read. For a list of books that use repeatable lines, download our handout with more than 100 of our favorite titles for you and your child to enjoy! We’ve carefully researched predictable books that could help build your child’s reading confidence while advancing their overall listening and spoken language outcomes.

LSL Day by Day | Children's Books, parent advice, LSL strategies

About the Author

Hearing First Team At Hearing First, we want all children to benefit from the availability of newborn hearing screening, the advances in technology, and the early learning services in their communities. We want all children to have the opportunity to take advantage of access to sound – a critical building block for future success.