Supporting Language Development

Supporting Your Child's Language Development

  • When speaking to your child, make sure that they are looking at you. This will make sure that they are paying attention to what is being said. If we cannot pay attention to something, we cannot learn.
  • Try to have as much one-to-one interaction as possible with your child. Try to make sure that there are no distractions when you are interacting with your child. For example, turn off the T.V./radio. Ideal times for these interactions are: bedtime/when changing/bath times/meal times.
  • When speaking to your child, speak slowly and clearly at all times. He/she will be able to hear the words more clearly.
  • When interacting with your child, be at their level (i.e. face-to-face/on your knees). They will be more able to see your lips move and this will support their learning of the sounds used in speech.
  • Use very simple and short sentences. This allows for small amounts of information to be learnt instead of large amounts like sentences.
  • When your child is playing, talk about the things that they are playing with. Be interested in what they are playing with. Try not to distract their attention to another toy. By doing this, you show him a connection between the sounds/language you are using and the action that he wants you to do for him.When your child points to something, name it for them. Don't wait or ask him to repeat. By naming things, you allow them to know that there is a word for what they see.
    • Talk about what they are doing: For Example: 'Ball'
    • It's a ball/throw ball/ball up/ball down/big ball/small ball
  • Use a 'sing-song' voice. This will make learning fun for your child. Children also pay more attention to these kinds of sounds.
  • Praise your child every time they make a sound that sounds like a word. This will make them feel good about what they have done and make them want to do it again. Use treats/hugs/clapping/Hi-5's to show them they have done well.
  • Make a list every week of the different words/sounds your child has been trying to say. This way, you will be able to see the progress they are making.