Strategies to Promote Language Development in Young Children

The following strategies can be utilized to promote language development in young children:

1) Speak to your child as often as possible. Some good topics for discussion are:

  • Feelings
  • Plans
  • Present activities
  • Past events

It does not need to be extensive conversation.

2) Respond to your child each time there is an interaction initiated whether it be eye gaze, gesture, pointing, talking, etc. (try for at least 250 responses per hour)

3) Utilize diverse language when speaking to your child

4) Ask your child to complete tasks instead of demanding such

5) Provide responsive feedback that stresses the importance of your child’s behavior during their interactions

6) Ensure that encouragement and discouragement occurs in proportional amounts (i.e., 6 encouragements to 1 discouragement)

Reference:

Hart, B. & Risley, T. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.

Written by: Vanessa Bethea-Miller, M.A., BCBA, LBS