Good Language Model
Remember you are your child’s language model. If your child says a word or sentence incorrectly, repeat it so they hear the correct way of producing the word/sentence. This way they hear the correct way of saying it – you are the model! Try not to make them repeat it or correct it as this tends to make them shy away from speaking.
- Simple Language
Try use simple language that your child understands rather than using long winded sentences and complex words. Explain any new words, especially when they ask – this is when they are curious and ready to learn.
- Floor Time
Make the time to sit down and play with your child and play one-on-one. The more you can do this one-on-one time with your child the more opportunity they have to learn language from you. You can look at a book or pictures on a play mat etc.
- Follow Your Child’s Lead
Let your child lead the play instead of forcing them to play with specific things. This takes off the pressure to speak/interact with you all the time. If you let your child take the lead, he/she builds confidence and will usually be more receptive to learning.
- Observe and Comment
Don’t feel like you have to fill in every silence that happens when playing with your child. Comment on some of the things they are doing so they can build onto their rapidly growing vocabulary.
- Books are IMPORTANT
It is so important that children are exposed to books frequently and from early on. Story book reading is ideal, even if it is just one or two pages a night. This helps with early literacy development and promotes vocabulary growth as well as listening skills.
- Nursery Rhymes and Songs
These contain rhythm and rhymes that are so important for speech and literacy development. It is also a fun way to learn language.
- Create Language Opportunities
It is so important to make every opportunity a language learning activity by pointing to things, naming them, singing songs/nursery rhymes or asking questions. If you incorporate daily activities and language learning into one, then it creates a perfect environment for learning speech and language.