It can be heartbreaking watching your little one frustrated and unable to communicate. Late talkers who don’t get the right support are at risk of literacy and social difficulties. You want desperately to help them learn how to talk but how do you teach a child to talk? The most powerful and proven strategies for teaching young children to talk are what I call the Teaching Toddlers to Talk Trifecta. Without further ado, here they are!
Firstly, modelling has two key elements: self-talk and parallel-talk.
Self talk is where you provide a running commentary on everything you are doing using short, simple phrases (yes you sometimes sound like a crazy person doing it in public but it works!) e.g. “Mummy is eating, yum, eating a carrot. Crunch crunch. Mmm yummy carrot. Oh look I ate the carrot. All gone!”
Parallel talk is similar but you are providing a running commentary on what your LO is doing eg “Jimmy is looking at the book. Open the book. Hmmm what’s that? A sheep. Jimmy is looking at the sheep. Turn the page. More sheep! Uh oh. Shut the book. Finished reading. Bye sheep.”
Secondly, repetition means that you say the same word over and over but in slightly different different word combinations eg car, fast car, big car, the car is red, I love cars, more cars, stop car, go car. I found a car!
Finally the third part of the Teaching Toddlers to Talk Trifecta is waiting. This means that after you’ve done some modelling with repetition built in you lead in with a phrase and…..wait. When I say wait I mean a full 5+ seconds (doesn’t sound long but in a conversation it seems like FOREVER!). These strategies have all been researched and shown to help little people who are delayed in learning to talk.
Have fun modelling, repeating and………..waiting!