Activities to promote language skills
Talk, Talk, Talk
Children at the learn from experiences and from what they HEAR. The important point is that it is not always necessary to have a child repeat what he has heard as long as he understands what is being said.
Language activities can be incorporated into any daily activity:
- While riding in the car, look for specific things, e.g. colors ("Let's find something red." or "I see something .......") Look for animals, restaurants, gas stations, etc. This is categorization.
- Use cooking or any household activity to increase language. A child will usually participate in a conversation when you are simply talking about something you are doing at that moment. "I think I'll cut up the carrots into small pieces for the salad." "I need a big spoon to stir the ....." "The water on the stove is boiling hot. I can see the bubbles. Time to put in the spaghetti." You may feel like you are talking to yourself, but remember that a child develops his vocabulary from what he HEARS and experiences. As his parent you are the primary source for this information.
- While watching television, discuss how the characters feel (scared, happy, sad, etc.); for example, you could say, "Vanessa is mad because she couldn't ........". In other words, instead of asking questions, just initiate the conversation.
- Reading books or television time is a good opportunity for the child to learn how to respond to "wh" questions. "What happened?" "Who .....?" "Where.....?"
- Say or do something incorrectly and give your child the opportunity to correct you. He'll feel very smart and important!
- Name all the items you are using at a given moment: vacuum cleaner, lawn mower, hose, iron, broom, etc. When naming an item, use it in context, e.g. "I'm going to clean the rug with a vacuum cleaner."
- Categorize things into groups, e.g. foods, vegetables, fruits ("For dinner tonight we are going to have a vegetable (corn), a fruit (grapes), a meat (chicken), etc.
Of the utmost importance is building your child's self-esteem and self-confidence:
- Give him your undivided attention when he is speaking to you.
- Give him a special task that only he can do. Let him know how important it is and give him immediate praise when he finished it
- Just tell him what a wonderful kid he is and how happy and proud you are of him.
Ideas for Language Stimulation by Ann Marie Schindler, M.A., CCC/SLP
Language Stimulation Ideas(pdf file - n/a)
- Indirect Language Stimulation Techniques http://www.tr.wou.edu/perc/documents/INDIRECTLANGUAGESTIMULATION.pdf