Teaching Children To Read

Teach reading at home
A fun & easy learning to read program

Language activities for childrenButterflies - developing language skills

Kids language skills

The first three years of a child’s life is the critical time for language learning. Children are ‘hard-wired’ to learn language. If a child is completely deprived of language during these early years the language neural-developmental pathways in the temporal lobe will not develop. Without these pathways, the ability to recognise and comprehend language and to form speech will diminish.

The key to giving your child the best chance of becoming a successful reader is to provide experiences that will build an understanding of language and knowledge of the world around them.

Language activites for children Language activities for children   Language activities for children Language activities for children

These language activity cards are great teaching tools to help children build early language skills. They increase vocabulary, promote language development and strengthen communications skills. An activity guide with each set offers lots of ideas, games and activities to make learning fun. Use these language cards to assist with the development of expressive and receptive language skills, the ability to speak, listen and comprehend language is critical for later reading success. To buy these language activity cards click here:
Smethport Photo Language Cards Categories
Smethport Photo Language Cards Nouns
Smethport Photo Language Cards Actions
Smethport Photo Language Cards Opposites

Language activities to promote communication skills: 

How to promote kids language skills

  • Talk about what you are doing and what is happening
  • Listen and respond to any language attempts your child makes
  • Model language by speaking clearly
  • Extend their conversations by asking open ended questions such as:
    • How did that happen?
    • What happened next?
    • Why do you think that happened?
  • Sing nursery rhymes and songs with actions
  • Visit new and interesting places and talking about what you see:
    • visit the zoo
    • go camping
    • visit the museum or art gallery
    • head to the beach
    • visit an aged care facility
  • Encourage creative play experiences with dress ups and props
  • Provide toys such as toy telephones, microphones, puppets and musical instruments
  • Encourage performances of concerts or shows
  • Clap out syllables e.g. Vanessa has three claps (Van-ess-a)
  • Encourage your child to speak in complete sentences
  • Allow time for your child to consider their response
  • Discourage others from answering on behalf of your child
  • Encourage them to talk about their artwork
  • Have your child re-tell a favourite story
  • Talk about word relationships e.g. what is another word for good?
  • Encourage your child to pronounce words correctly by repeating the word back in a full sentences e.g. if the child says "I want poon (spoon)", you can respond with "here is a spoon for you".

Language activities to promote listening skills;

How to promote kid's listening skills:

  • Read story books every day
  • Play with puppets
  • Provide opportunities for your child to follow more complex directions e.g. start with one directive: "please put this book on the shelf", followed by two part directives: "please put this book on the shelf and pick out another one", then "please put this book on the shelf, pick out another one and bring it back for us to read".
  • Expose your child to new vocabulary, e.g. have an 'interesting word' of the week
  • Provide more time to talking about the meaning of words

How babies learn language - watch this video

This is a video link to a TED presentation 'The linguistic genius of babies' where Patricia Kuhl discusses how babies learn language. She talks in detail about how our brains acquire language skills necessary for later literacy developmentClick here to watch video... 

What is of particular interest in Patricia’s presentation is the graph showing the difference in the amount of brain development that occurs when an adult socially interacts with the child compared to when the child is exposed to a television monitor or to an audio device. Click here to see video.


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