Early language development – how to support your child

Early language development – how to support your child

Language Building Skills Language Development Reading

Literacy (reading) skills are important for a child’s early language development, social communication, and academic success. Before a child can pick up a book and decode the words on a page into something meaningful, they must first develop an understanding of what written language is and how it is used throughout their environment. Logos, signs, and labels may be teaching your child how to read without you even realizing it. Preschoolers also learn early concepts of literacy by watching their caregivers interact with written language. These first steps in learning to read are called emergent literacy skills. While you may already be teaching these skills in your day to day life, here are some other ways we can support literacy.

One important skill for early language development literacy is understanding that sounds can be manipulated in order to become words, which is known as phonological awareness. You can support your preschooler’s phonological awareness by talking about and teaching different speech sounds during shared reading activities.

Another skill that helps support reading is print awareness. When children  demonstrate they understand the logos, signs, and labels in their environment have meaning, they are showing  they have print awareness. Print awareness also involves holding a book upright and knowing that the words on the page tell a story. Even before they are able to read the words, encouraging your child to follow the words with their finger from left to right while  reading to them will support print awareness. It is also beneficial to discuss the physical parts of the book, who is the author and who is the illustrator.

Alphabet knowledge, or the understanding that letters represent sounds and letters can be grouped together to become words, is another skill that we can teach while reading together. There are many children’s books about the alphabet, but you can identify individual letters anywhere and talk about the sound that it makes.

Finally, oral language skills are needed for early language development and reading comprehension. Everytime you engage in conversation with your little ones, you are modeling oral language skills. Teaching new vocabulary is essential for oral language and early reading because while reading teaches vocabulary, some word knowledge is needed in the earliest stages of literacy.

Reading is a valuable skill to have throughout a child’s life that encourages children academically, socially, and creatively.  Children who learn to read early on are often more successful than their peers, and reading is also a source of knowledge. Reading also exposes children to new words and language uses. Books teach children about emotions and individual points of view. Appreciation of others thoughts and feelings will help children communicate and build relationships with peers. Of course, reading is also enjoyable and amplifies creativity.

Speech Fun at Home with the Time 4 Speech Box

Speech Fun at Home with the Time 4 Speech Box

Games and Activities

Guest Post! We’re always looking for clever new ways to keep education—especially speech education—fresh and fun at home. So when we stumbled across Time 4 Speech’s brand new subscription-based “speech activities in a box” service, we called right away to get the scoop. Amber Fisher describes how she got started.

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How to Prepare for Speech Therapy Home Visits

How to Prepare for Speech Therapy Home Visits

Speech Therapy Techniques

Perhaps you’ve already determined that you’d like to have your child seen by a speech pathologist and have had some of your initial questions answered. Many times your child’s speech therapy services can be delivered in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Especially for younger children (i.e. up to age 5), being “on their own turf” can really help foster rapport between your child and the clinician and make your child feel maximally comfortable as he or she works on something that may be somewhat challenging. This brief post is dedicated to providing parents with a few tips for maximizing the effectiveness of speech therapy home visits. The better prepared and knowledgeable you can be as you start the process of your home-based speech therapy, the more likely it is that your child will achieve his or her speech or language learning goals.

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Language Development in Children: 3 False Facts

Language Development in Children: 3 False Facts

Language Development

As with most things, there are common misconceptions about speech and language development in children, undoubtedly confusing all of us parents! Should we be reading the Wall Street Journal to our babies in utero? Should we feel self-conscious when engaging in baby talk with our 6 month old? Are we doing damage? We are here to help clarify some of the most common False Facts about language development in your child. Of course, it’s important that you are patient. All parents can’t wait until that day when their baby begins to talk!  BUT, each child progresses at a different rate, so be patient, it will come. Your best bet is to understand what is true and what is false about language development in your child.

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