What adults can do to enhance children’s language development?

As I’ve mentioned time after time again, adults play a vital role in the child’s environment to aid the development of language. It is crucial that the child be provided with ample opportunities to listen to, and speak with adults as well as peers.

These are the simple techniques I incorporate into my classroom to promote language development.

Expansion
Instead of correcting the children for their grammatically incorrect, and/or incorrect sentence structures, I accept them, and then expand them to grammatically correct forms. In addition, I introduce and encourage the use of new words that are meaningful to them.

Example.
Child: “Mummy home.”
Me: “Yes, Mummy is at home.”

Extension
As young children are inclined to use single words or short phrases, I try to facilitate language development by first expanding and then extending.

Example.
Child: “Mummy home.”
Me: “Yes, Mummy is at home. She is coming to fetch you home later.”

Questions
I often ask open-ended questions, rather than close-ended questions that will give me “yes” and “no” answers. Questions are asked to encourage children to make predictions and to give their views and express their feelings.

Example.
Instead of asking, “Can you see this picture?” I ask, “Tell me about this picture.”

Conversations
Children learn language through the use of language in their daily lives. “Sharing Time” is a session in my classroom primarily serving as interaction time. Children are encouraged to discuss and converse about what they are doing, thinking and feeling.

Adult Modeling
Being a adult in their environment, the manner in which I talk automatically has a tremendous influence on their oral communication skills. I often find younger children imitating my speech patterns. When talking around children, I am mindful of my pronunciations, sentence structures and questions, working conscientiously on improving my speech pattern in standard English.

To summarize, remember that as adults in their environment, it is our responsibility to provide a supportive environment conducive to children’s optimal language development.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] Posts From Others September 16, 2008 at 9:07 pm | In Posts From Others | Another good post can be found here. […]


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