When I first had my daughter, I was determined not to use baby talk around her. I never really saw the benefit of doing so. I thought that I would speak in regular words and sentences and make it appropriate for her age. It is something I have always down.
As I read, Preschool Clues by Angela C. Santomero, I pulled out a few passages to show why this is the way to go. We can enhance and build the vocabulary of our kids and students in the way we talk and interact with them every day. Here are 4 easy ways to do so.
1) Don’t dumb down what you are saying.
“The key is to use the same words with your preschooler that you’d use with an adult and define them in context when necessary. You can define the word at the same time you use it (‘It’s your prerogative, you can jump if you want to jump!’)”
2) Use The Pause (as I wrote about a few weeks back)
Angela C. Santomero writes about how a friend uses this tool when she realizes that her son doesn’t know a word she just used.
“[She] Pauses and asks him, ‘Do you know what I mean when I say ______?’ If he doesn’t, she shares a preschool-appropriate definition and -viola- she’s added a new word to her son’s vocabulary. And since like all preschoolers, her son is a porous sponge, he invariably finds ways to weave his new word into his everyday vernacular, because doing so makes him feel smart.”
3) Weave complicated words into everyday speech
We can introduce words to our children that are
“There are also real, tangible benefits to weaving complicated words into the way we communicate with our child when it comes to their future success in school, as studies show that learning vocabulary is a ‘high quality way’ and in context (versus using things like flashcards) is a key factor in successfully expanding a child’s vocabulary.”
4) Use high quality words in context
The bottom line is that, “when we talk, our children are listening. And the more high-quality words we can use in context, the better.”
It’s imperative that we take this leisurely approach to communication so our students can prosper. Maybe that was too much for one sentence, but I am sure you get the picture. It’s about developing vocabulary. (See what I did there?)
Teaching Tip Tuesday – inspiration and ideas from my classroom to yours