Communicate With Children's Language Analysis

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There are some specific things we can do to help us communicate with our young children. The next series of articles will cover some of these ideas.

The idea we will discuss today is called "Joining children at their level of conversation." Young children have varying abilities in conversing and we should be aware of these and respond in kind. Consider the following points:

a. MATCH THE COMPLEXITY OF YOUR CHILD'S LANGUAGE: Is your child is speaking in full sentences, phrases or single words? If your child uses phrases, you will want to respond in kind...using phrases similar to hers. If your child is speaking in full sentences you will want to respond in sentences of similar length.

For example if your child says "I carry baby bottle." Your
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TAKE TURNS SPEAKING. Think of taking conversational turns in a 50-50 turn taking manner. In other words: your child speaks and you listen. Then you speak and your child listens. Then your child speaks again as you listen. This provides the time your child needs to interact with language. In this process we become partners in language with our children.

e. ALLOW TIME FOR YOUR CHILD TO SPEAK. Be sure to give your child time to speak. Frequently we are so rushed and focused on our day to day business that we talk "at" or "to" our children without giving them the time to respond. Giving them time to respond and taking the time to listen is what allows for the give and take that establishes good communication. Sometimes it helps to count to ten after asking a question. Otherwise it's all too easy to answer it ourselves before our child has had the chance to process our question and formulate an answer.

When you are sensitive to your childs' level of conversation and support that level with your responsive language, your child will feel comfortable about talking with you and will develop her language skills to the maximum of her ability. She will also find it easier to communicate - to listen, to understand and to respond. All of this will build her language on a day to day basis while establishing a positive and nurturing
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