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.

What is Speech Therapy like? One Mommy’s Story.

What is Speech Therapy like? One Mommy’s Story.

Parents' Corner Speech Therapy for Kids

If your child needs to see a speech therapist, there are a ton of great resources to help you through the process. Teachers, pediatricians, ASHA, and the all-knowing Google can guide you through the basics: from what’s an SLP to how to do I understand my IEP? But, there are times when you just want to hear about the experience from another parent. How did they react to the idea of speech therapy? How do they find the time for it? What is Speech Therapy like? What did their other kids think about their big brother having special appointments? Did they ever get a hang of all the acronyms? How do other families go from “I think we need to see someone” to “Speech therapy, yup, that’s a regular part of our family life.”

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What Are Sight Words and Why Are They Important?

What Are Sight Words and Why Are They Important?

Language Development
What Are Sight Words?

What Are Sight Words and Why Are They Important? Image courtesy of www.windsor.k12..mo.us

Like many families this week, your children are heading back to the classroom and coming home with a worksheet or two of homework. (Make that dozens of worksheets for your older kids!) The homework that caught my eye this week is the list of “sight words.” What are sight words? Sight words (high-frequency words, core words or even popcorn words) are the words that are used most often in reading and writing. According to Teach Stix:

In classrooms across America, the development of sight word recognition continues to be a top priority when instructing emerging and beginning readers.

They are called “sight” words because the goal is for your child to recognize these words instantly, at first sight.

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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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Teaching the Sound of Letter G

Teaching the Sound of Letter G

Speech Therapy Techniques
Teaching the Sound of G

Teaching the Sound of G. Image courtesy of www.pronuncian.com

“Dess what Mommy?” “Where is the dod?, “When are we donna be there?” Are these familiar questions around your house? Is your son or daughter making a “d” sound in place of a “g”? Or, leaving the “g” sound out all together? If so, don’t fret. Most children under the age of five have some trouble correctly pronouncing certain sounds and words. While most children will usually mispronounce words at some point in her growth, the majority of children outgrow these mispronunciations and master correct sounds by certain ages. And, to make things even more complicated for your young child, there are two distinct sounds of “g” that he or she must perfect: a hard g and a soft g. Is there a way to help guide your child? YES! Here are some tips and tricks for teaching your child the sound of letter g.

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