Speech and Language Therapists in Singapore are often asked how to facilitate children’s development of oral language. The following article provides wonderful advice on how to further develop little one’s oral language in a positive and nurturing manner.
- Understand that every child’s language or dialect is worthy of respect as a valid system for communication. It reflects the identities, values, and experiences of the child’s family and community.
- Treat children as if they are conversationalists, even if they are not yet talking. Children learn very early about how conversations work (taking turns, looking attentively, using facial experiences with conversing adults.
- Encourage interaction among children. Peer learning is an important part of language development, especially in mixed-age groups. Activities involving a wide range of materials should promote talk. There should be a balance between individual activities and those that nurture collaboration and discussion, such as dramatic play, block-building, book-sharing, or carpentry.
- Remember that parents, caregivers, teachers, and guardians are the chief resources in language development. Children learn much from each other, but adults are the main conversationalists, questioners, listeners, responders, and sustainers of language development and growth in the child-care center or classroom.
- Continue to encourage interaction as children come to understand written language. Children in the primary grades can keep developing oral abilities and skills by consulting with each other, raising questions, and providing information in varied situations. Every area of the curriculum is enhanced through language, so that classrooms full of active learners are hardly ever silent.
Treetop Speech and Language therapy, Singapore.