Suggestions to support language development at home

  • SUGGESTIONS FOR LANGUAGE LEARNING AT HOME

    Everything you do as part of your everyday routine is an opportunity to provide your child with language stimulation.  You do not need any special materials or any extra time.  Below are some ideas on how you can enhance your child's language:

     *  Cooking provides a wealth of language opportunities and children love to help.  Talk about the following: colors and names of the ingredients, if they are wet or dry, what equipment is needed, and how the food looks, tastes, and smells. Talk about the order of the steps for preparing different types of food (sequencing).

    *  Ask you child to help, by giving him/her a series of two or three directions to follow.  Example:  Please get me the milk from the refrigerator and a spoon from the drawer.

    *  At mealtime, talk about the names of foods and which are hot and which are cold.

    *  Make a fruit salad.  Name the fruits, talk about colors, tastes, smells, textures.  Describe 3 things about each fruit.  Discuss similarities and differences, where they grow, etc.

    *  At bath time, talk about different actions, such as: splashing, washing, pouring, spilling, and scrubbing.

    *  When riding in the car, talk about who is in front and who is in back.  Find specific types of vehicles such as: motorcycles, trucks, vans, etc.

    *  Read stories:

    -          Ask questions about the story.  Who is in the story?  What are they doing?  When is the story taking place?

    -          Make predictions:  What will happen next?

    -          Make inferences: Why do you think he/she is happy/sad?

    -          Take characters/objects from the story and tell 3 things about them.  Example:  ball- it is round, it is a toy, it bounces.

    -          Discuss object functions.  Example:  a ball bounces, rolls, we can throw it.

    -          Definitions:  A ball is a toy that we play with.

    -          Retell the story:  What happened first, next, last, before, after.

    - Name and talk about objects or pictures to expand vocabulary. Introduce new words in books/magazines, around the house, in the community, in the environment, etc.

    -Categorize objects:  Example:  at the grocery story talk about different foods.  Which ones are fruits, vegetables, meats, snacks.  Talk about different animals (where they live, how they are the same and different).  This can be done with almost any category. (hot things, round things, occupations, places, etc.)

    -Describe characteristics of objects.  Shape, size, color, unusual markings that are different from similar objects.  Example: A tiger is an animal, it is orange and black, it has stripes, lives in a zoo, it growls.

    -Compare similarities and differences between like objects.  Example:  a lion and a tiger, apple and orange, car and truck, baseball and football. 

    *  Memory activities:

    -          Following directions.  Example:  Please get me the lettuce, tomatoes and carrots out of the refrigerator.

    -          Clap a sequence of rhythms and have you child clap the sequence back.

    -          Play memory games.  Name the objects describe them, define them, state the category, match the pairs.

    *  Take walks and talk about what you see.

    *  Sing songs.

    *  Recite nursery rhymes.

    *  Make up plays and act them out.

    *  Read!

    Remember:

    * Talk about things you do and places you go.

    *  Answer questions.

    *  Listen to your child.

    * Read and talk about books. Tell stories together.

    *  Praise your child.

    * Have fun!