Talking and listening
All learning is based on language and language is the most important tool your child will acquire. Talking and listening comes before reading and writing. By talking and listening to each other, we communicate and build relationships. Good communication with your child is all about encouraging them to talk so you can listen to how they feel.
Ideas to encourage oral language:
- Play old favourites like I spy.
- Tell each other jokes.
- Discuss your day and ask for a rundown of your child’s day.
- Ask open ended questions as below:
- Why ...?
- I wonder what..?
- What would have happened if..?
- Is there another way to..? These questions require long and thoughtful responses.
- Encourage correct telephone etiquette when speaking to relatives.
- Encourage your child to make appointments, or ring for information where appropriate.
- Chat in the bath - you have a captive audience.
- Sing songs together.
- Learn a new word a day and get everyone to use it.
- Give your child oral directions to follow. Ensure they are clear, step by step instructions.
- Make up stories. If you find it hard to start from scratch, continue old favourites.
- Eg. What Goldilocks did the day after she visited the three bears.
- Eat meals together when the TV is off so spontaneous conversation can flourish.