Talking with very young children

TalkingVocabulary is built when talking directly to a child.  Once a child begins to talk, give her or him an opportunity to talk to you.

Research shows that conversations that deepen a topic are very beneficial to children just learning how to talk (Developing narrative structure, edited by A. McCabe and C. Peterson.  1991)
David Dickinson, describes this effort to deepen a conversation as “Strive for 5”.

Speak and then wait for up to 5 seconds for the child to respond – and then the adult speaks again.  Can you keep the dialogue alive for 5 turns?

Adult –> Child –> Adult –> Child –> Adult

I don’t model this well in storytime.  I may ask children questions, but I will not wait patiently for an answer.  Please, trust what the researchers say – not what you see me do in front of a group at storytime.