Talking points

Talk about your visit to the library.

“We are going to the library today.  Let’s gather all our library books.”
“Which ones were our favorites this past week?”
“I really liked how funny the bear was in that book.  What did you like best?”
“What books do you want to look for when we are at the library?”

Talking to children seems to be too obvious to mention.  Everyone talks to children.

Research is being done on very young children to support our wisdom that talking to children matters a lot.  Quantity matters.  The more we provide child-directed speech, the faster and more reliable the child will be in interpreting speech.  That seems obvious.  The research shows that it is a child’s superior skill in processing language that leads to success in learning vocabulary.  That’s why quantity matters as much or more than using “big words”.

So talk to children often throughout the day.  Use a variety of words when you think of them.  Engage them in conversations as they get older.

And remember – speech needs to be directed at the child for this to work.  Speech that is simply overheard is unrelated to vocabulary development.