Unit 5.11 Help children learn language

Language helps children to communicate with others. It helps them to be competent with social interactions and to strengthen their self-esteem.

Some of the ways adults can foster language development are to:

  • Read or say nursery rhymes to the children so they can hear the rhythm and flow of our language
  • Sing simple songs with them
  • Use body language in songs, stories, and in everyday activities (shrug shoulders, shake your head, etc.)
  • Name objects as you both look at them
  • Set out a group of common objects and have the children name them and discuss different attributes (size, color, weight, shape)
  • Name and touch body parts using rhymes, games, and songs
  • Group and name objects that go together
  • Introduce new words…
    • Through stories
    • Through looking at magazines together and discussing them o On neighbourhood walks
    • By making word cards with a word and its picture
    • On signs in your environment
  • Engage in one-to-one conversations between you and a child in which you… o Model correct pronunciation (Don’t always correct the child, simply restate their words using correct language. They will learn, slowly but surely.)
    • Model using complete sentences
    • Model listening and responding to each other
    • Model how to ask a question and how to answer
  • Engage in conversations about their likes and dislikes.
  • Tell simple stories which involve the children responding.
  • Read favourite stories over and over and then let your child tell them to you.
  • Ask lots of open-ended questions (questions which cause them to think and which require more than a yes or no answer – for example: “How did you make that picture?”).
  • Model using words with sounds your child has a problem saying.
  • Play word games using the sound.
  • Each time you hear a word with the sound, you both repeat it.
  • Notice when the sound is used correctly; do not notice incorrect usage.