How Your Child Learns Language
- Children learn by doing, not by passive observance
- Children learn by asking questions and by searching for answers to their questions
- Children learn by discovery
- Children learn by using all their senses when possible
- Children learn by experimenting
- Children learn by sorting and combining objects
- Children learn by repeating experiences
- Children learn by building confidence in themselves
Guidelines For Encouraging Language Development
- Continue to show your pleasure at your child's development in speech, language and thought.
- Do not expect absolute perfection in the way he/she pronounces words.
- Encourage your child to talk and engage in meaningful conversation. This is done by helping your child feel accepted and comfortable as they speak versus correcting improper grammar.
- Provide a correct model for your child. If he/she says, "car no go" you can say "The car won't go." This does not penalize him/her for the error and it gives the correct model to use.
- Provide many language models by talking about what you are doing, describing objects and events, and discussing what will be happening next.
- Extend your child's sentences. "Hot" might by followed by your comment "Yes, the stove must be very hot so it can cook our food."
- Give specific directions and speak directly to the child, maintaining eye contact while speaking.
- Be very verbal around your child.
- Talk about the things you are doing as you do them, emphasizing vocabulary and basic concepts, such as "in", "on" and "under".