5 Early Literacy Practices: TALK

17 Mar

ecrrI talk all the time (usually to myself!) – while I’m cooking, cleaning, working at my desk, just in general and I’m so glad to hear that talking is so important to a child’s development.  Children need to hear so many words to understand how language works!  Did you know that a baby is born being able to pronounce absolutely every language sound possible?  But, it’s due to the people in their lives talking to them for them to hone their language to the one they hear (which is why many people learning another language find it difficult to speak certain sounds).

Talking is an easy literacy practice that can happen anytime day or night (but, hopefully during the day for tired parents)!  Talk your way through the day explaining what the schedule will be, pointing out different types of food in the grocery store, what is happening during bath time, what you’re making for dinner.  There is very little that you need in order to talk to your baby or toddler and as they hear more and more words, they’ll begin to understand how words are put together to form sentences, how inflection is used when excited or asking a question, vocabulary words for new items in their lives and that words are used to describe the physical items in their life.

Sign language has become a tool many parents have begun to use to better communicate with young children and if taught probably is shown not only to encourage better communication, but more communication.  It’s important that as you sign to a young child that you also use the word so that a child can attribute a sign to the word as well.  Sign language works well for young children in telling parents what they need which many see as preventing tantrums and frustration.  It’s also important to note that many professionals suggest teaching American Sign Language (ASL) as it is a recognized language over teaching a modified baby sign language that differs depending on what method you use.

And one more point to make about language is that many professionals suggest that parent should speak the language they feel most comfortable with to their baby and toddler.  This encourages bonding and parents are more confident because it would be considered their dominant language.  And research shows that children who have strong understanding of a language used at home can more easily adapt to a second language.  So, with that being said, get out there and start talking!

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