Children learn language by listening to others talk and watching how people interact. They observe gestures, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues and learn new words as they listen to the adults around speak.
Promoting communication and language development in children is important for many reasons. Research has shown that greater language exposure:
- Promotes appropriate social interaction.
- Predicts greater vocabulary size at age 3 and beyond.
- Predicts reading and language skills by 3rd grade.
- Predicts Kindergarten readiness.
- Helps to prevent problem behavior.
Reading stories to children allows them to begin making connections between the written word, the verbalization, and an object. Expand children’s learning by asking questions about the stories you have read together.
Talking about everyday things with children helps them develop their own language and communication skills. Through conversation, children learn new vocabulary as well as proper sentence structure and social cues.
Labeling tasks, activities, and objects, and incorporating the labels into classroom activities, increase the likelihood that children will understand and be able to talk about things in their environment. Repetition across different contexts can increase the likelihood that children will use vocabulary appropriately. In addition, label children's feelings in the moment to encourage verbalizing how they feel.
For more ways to support children’s language and communication development visit H&H Child Care Training Center and view our wide selection of training. H&H content writers are dedicated to helping educators improve their practice to support children of all ages. We are always adding new training courses so check back often.