Language developemnt - St Thomas JNS website

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Listed below are a few simple ways that you can help support your child’s language development at home.

Alternatively, you can view a language development toolkit here.
  • Play:
    • Play is very important for children’s language development.
  • Listening Skills:
    • Simon says
    • I went to the shop and I bought . . . . . .
    • Print a picture for your child and call out instructions that they must follow e.g colour the clown’s hair orange/draw a bone beside the dog, etc
    • Lego: you call out colours and your child makes a tower

  • Rhyme and Alliteration:
    • Practice nursery rhymes with your child: say the rhyme, clap the beat, mix up words e.g Humpty Dumpty sat on a ball (they will correct you)
    • Odd one out. Give your child 3 words and ask them which one does not belong e.g cat, cup, bag;        mop, vet, map;        man ,sun, sit
    • Ask your child to give you a word that rhymes with a word that you choose e.g give me a word that rhymes with cat. Your child could answer bat, fat, hat, mat, pat, rat, sat
  • Syllables:
    • Call out a word and ask your child to clap out the beats within that word e.g dog = 1 clap,  picnic (pic nic) = 2 claps, computer (com pu ter) = 3 claps
    • Delete a syllable game: say cowboy without cow = boy, say birthday without birth = day, say toothbrush without tooth = brush.
  • Phonological Awareness:
    • Play games such as “I spy with my little eye something beginning with  . . . “
    • Ask your child what does sun start with?  what does wall start with?  etc
    • Sound manipulation: What happens to cat if I change the c to h (hat)? what happens to mop if I change the o to a (map)? etc

  • Questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
    • Children develop many skills when asked questions.
  • Books
    • Ask your child questions before reading a book: What do you think this book is about? What do you think will happen? If for example, the book cover showed children in the park you could ask have   you ever been to the park? Can you tell me what you do when you go to the park?
    • During reading: Where is it set? Who is in the story? What do you think will happen next? Why is s/he happy/sad? How could the boy help the girl? The girl in the story is lost. Have you ever been lost? Can you tell me about it? etc
    • After: Did you like the book? Why/Why not? What was your favourite part of the story? Who was your favourite character? etc
    • Pictures (Parents can choose a picture from a book, online, magazine, etc)
    • What is happening in the picture? Where are they? What is she wearing? How does she feel? Can you tell me what animals you can see in the picture? How do you know the children are in the park? The children are having a picnic, have you ever had a picnic? Can you tell me about it? What food would you bring to a picnic?  etc
    • Movies/tv programmes
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