While sitting in the doctors office a while back I got to skimming through the magazines on the table next to me. I picked up the July/August issue of Web M.D. and found an article that made me practically jump up and down as it spoke to my belief that we can do so much with our children in the area of Language Acquisition.
It was titled Word Play and was written by Heather Hatfield. She states that talk is not cheap when it comes to language development with both quality and quantity.
We all know that babies and toddlers need lots of sleep, playtime and love. They also need parents who carry on a conversation and a conversation that does NOT include baby talk. We should start early on with vocabulary and communication skills and include a steady stream of meaningful dialogue.
*Also, this communication should begin before birth- opinion of Joanne Dillery)
This quote for Denise Fournier Eng, MA, a speech-language pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, explains that moms and dads, as well as grandparents, need to make talking and building an ever-expanding vocabulary an important part of parenting. “The brain looks for and expects language.” “It needs language to develop higher-level learning, problem solving, and social skills”
I will be referring to this article in future blogs as it has much to share. But, before I close, I want to tell how much I know little kids love, love love big words and use them frequently and appropriately. When I taught Kindergarten I always told the children about the four seasons and referred to them as the winter solstice, the vernal equinox, the summer solstice and the vernal equinox. They knew what they meant and they guided us through many science lessons. I would have parents call me and ask if I knew where their kid learned about such words. I would say they learned them at school and they know what they mean!
So ,get out those big words…kids love them and feel quite proud using them. As Eng points out,”Children don’t perceive language as easy or hard- only meaningful or not meaningful. It they are interested, the word has meaning. The four seasons had meaning!