Ways to Encourage Language Learning at homeThere are many simple activities that you can do with your child to enhance Language Learning at home or improve their speech and language skills.
- Be a good model – Speak clearly, slowly and face your child when speaking. If your child says a word or sentence incorrectly try not to correct them. Instead, you should model the correct word or sentence back to them.
- Remember your language level –Speak to your child using simple language and chunk your instructions into smaller units.
- Make time to sit down with your child. Try to spend some quality time with your child, away from distractions. Look at a book together you can name the pictures, ask questions and talk about the story.
- Observe and comment. When you are playing with your child, let your child lead the play. Do not feel the need to fill the silences, just comment on the things your child is doing.
- Playdough Game –You can model different actions and shapes, allow your child to copy the actions and shapes that you are performing and making. Label the shapes such as ‘circle’ and actions such as ‘pat-pat’, ‘roll’ etc.
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes – Nursery Rhymes and songs are also lots of fun. You could leave gaps for your child to fill in such as ‘old McDonald had a farm; on the farm he had a _____’. However, if the child does not spontaneously produce the word, you could then add by giving him/ her a choice by saying ‘monkey or dog?’
- Feed language in, don’t force it out. Comment and expand on your child’s words and sentences, rather than asking them to repeat words. If your child says “car”, respond with “big car” or “yellow car” or “fast car”. This is how children learn words, by hearing new vocabulary and linking it to the items or events they are focusing on.
- Make every opportunity a language learning activity – if it’s a trip to the shops or bath-time, you can make every activity a language learning activity. Point to things, name them, sing a nursery rhyme, or ask a question. You don’t have to set aside a specific time of day to learn the language. Every activity is a language-learning opportunity.
- Don’t forget: When you are playing games to help improve speech and language skills, you will also be working on social skills, turn-taking, attention and listening. So it’s a win-win situation.