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Toddler talk

July 23, 2012

I’m making more of a conscious effort to encourage and motivate Lily to speak more. She obviously takes after as me as she is already quite communicative, however there are times when she gets frustrated with not being able to express herself with the right words and resorts to shutting down or even worst throwing a huge tanty!

So here are some of the techniques I’m using to encourage language development:

Repeat and Expand
I often validate what Lily says by repeating the word. I expand on words so she gets exposure to correct sentence structure, e.g. Lily: “Car” Me: “Yes, car…a big red car!’

I don’t tell Lily she is wrong if she mispronounces a word. Instead I repeat the correct word clearly, e.g. Lily: “Ower” Me: “Wow, it’s a beautiful flower.”

Running Commentary
It feels weird at first but I try to narrate what we are doing or comment on my feelings so there are more opportunities for Lily to hear lots of words, e.g. Me: “I’m cooking us a nice dinner. It smells so delicious. I just have to add the carrots and then I’m done.”

Pause and Listen
And then there are times when I’m quiet so Lily gets the opportunity to talk too – this is especially important after a long Running Commentary and teaches her that I’m listening and interested in what she has to say. I try to refrain from jumping in and finishing off words which can be hard when she is taking her time to say something. This gives her the chance to use her vocabulary and build sentences herself.

I also encourage Lily to listen to sounds all around her (e.g. The clock ticking) to teach her the importance of listening.

Read and Sing
And if all else fails, I make sure I read and sing lots so she gets exposure to language in a fun manner. It isn’t a coincidence that a lot of Lily’s first words comes from her favourite books and nursery rhymes.

What technique has worked for you in developing you child’s language?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2012 1:44 am

    It sounds to me that you have chosen some wise techniques. Both of my boys had speech delays and were helped my speech therapists.

    • July 24, 2012 8:31 pm

      I stole some of these techniques from speech therapists actually! Glad to hear that your boys have improved.

      • July 25, 2012 1:23 am

        Thanks. I hope the techniques will help and you are soon wishing she would just stop talking for a little while.

  2. July 23, 2012 7:45 am

    You’re doing a great job! I have to say the running commentary is fun when you’re out of the house, I talk to Eve about what we’re doing and why and people look at me like I’m insane.

    • July 24, 2012 8:32 pm

      I know what you mean! I also catch myself singing out loud which is even more embarrassing!

  3. July 23, 2012 12:07 pm

    I love these posts! I always pick up something and I will definitely be using this with Logan. On top of reminding his far to speak Danish to him non-stop 🙂

  4. DesertDarling permalink
    July 23, 2012 12:59 pm

    Great tips Sass! Especially about teaching importance of listening & giving them a chance to talk!

  5. July 24, 2012 1:10 pm

    When Angus was two and a half, he and I did some group sessions in speech therapy together. The main thing they taught us parents was to use lots of repetition and to model frequently and regularly – starting off with single words moving onto phrases and eventually sentences.
    Ronnie xo

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