Article: Strategies to Encourage Language Learning, Strategies to Support Language Development and Learning

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Strategies to Support Language Development and Learning

  1. Recognize the capacities of infants and toddlers to understand language and communicate using gestures, facial expressions, sounds, and words.
  2. Identify language delay early in a child’s life so that the child and family receive support in developing language skills.
  3. Follow DeHouwer’s (1999) recommendations for parents of children learning two or more languages during the infant and toddler years.
  4. Honor a child’s home language by encouraging parents to continue using the language, employing native language speakers in the program, and using words and phrases from the child’s home language during routines and interactions with the child.
  5. Use a dozen strategies to support children’s language learning.

a. Build relationships—be an empathic language partner.
b. Respond and take turns—be an interactive language partner.
c. Respond to nonverbal communication.
d. Use self-talk and parallel talk.
e. Talk often with the child using a rich and varied vocabulary.
f. Use joint attention strategies.
g. Use the four E approach.
h. Use semantically responsive talk.
i. Use infant-directed speech.
j. Use questions and control carefully.
k. Listen with your eyes.
l. Read, sing, use finger-plays and social games like peek-a-boo.

  1. The quality of the environment and teachers’ use of responsive and sensitive language strategies are related to children’s language development.
  2. Use routine-based intervention strategies.

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Treetop Speech and Language therapy, Singapore.