Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk, Talk!
Posted June 28, 2010on:
Listen up Chatty-Cathy…
Research and data indicate significant differences in language abilities of children who have adult models that are chatty, animated and verbal versus those who don’t. J Huttenlocher (Chicago University) found that 20 month-olds whose mother (and/or care giver) had the gift-of-gab were shown to have 130 more words in their vocabulary than same-age children with less talkative moms. By age 2, the gap doubled!!
“Scripting” is a wonderful way to support language. Scripting can be used with all ages to expand vocabulary, model grammar structure and build positive relationships. There are many examples we use every day without even knowing it! scripting is just what it sounds like: giving a “script” to actions that you do every day.
- Infants: “I am changing your diaper now! I can see you stretching those wiggly toes and I see you smiling so big! I can tell that you are happy!” Babies count on you for every aspect of language! They literally need the words for objects and actions.
- Toddlers: “You are really jumping high! It is fun to jump and laugh together – we are really great jumpers and laughers today! We are jumping like kangaroos!” and “Thank you for sitting so nicely and using your spoon to eat that delicious applesauce. You are eating a good lunch today to stay healthy!” Toddlers have figured out that language = power! (That is why their favorite word is NO!!) These growing bodies are ready for longer sentences and conversations and meaningful exchanges that teach them not just words, but the answers to all of their “what, why and how” questions.
- Preschoolers: “Zipping that jacket and putting on your boots is a job well done! I can see that you are ready to go outside.” and “You and your sister are really working together to build that sand castle with Dad. Great job partners!” Language creates pride in developing skills – children repeat actions they are proud of. Language builds friendships. We can (and should) model kind and supporting words to our preschoolers. They will need to know how to stay strong, use their skills and recognize and use the language of friends.
Remember… words that are kind build kindness, words of strength build strength, words of praise build pride and words of love build your child.
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director