Book sharing is more than just reading a book to your child. It is an interaction between yourself and your child, where you both talk about the book.
The key to book sharing – you are both involved and having fun!
Books increase your child’s knowledge and understanding of the world and helps them to understand how books and words work. Book sharing is great for language development. It will support your child’s understanding of new words and their talking (using new words and sentences).
Tips to remember:
Let your child choose the book
Read it more than once
Make it a routine
Strategies for book sharing:
Make comments: Saying something about the book that is not just written in the text. You can comment on the pictures (e.g., “That is a huge brown spider!”), new words (e.g., “terrified… that means really scared!”) and thinking aloud (e.g., “I think the 3 little pigs feel worried because the wolf might eat them…” OR “I wonder what will happen next…”)
Follow your child’s interest: Focus on what your child is interested in. You can do this by watching to see what they are looking at, pointing at, or talking about, and then make a comment or ask a question. (e.g., *child looking at a spider* “Look, a big brown spider! I wonder what the spider will do next?”).
Extending means repeating what your child said while adding more information. Extending your child’s sentences is an important strategy as it helps them to express themselves in longer more complex ways.
Here are some simple tips to help you extend your child’s language;
Repeat what your child said using correct grammar, sentence structure and vocabulary.
Add more information such as; size, colour, or any type of information that will add to the message (e.g., child: the dinosaur eating, parent: the dinosaur is eating green leaves).
Stress the words you have added to help your child focus on these.
By extending your child’s sentences you encourage your child and provide an example that is one small step ahead. This will help your child to learn how to use language in more complex ways.
Providing a choice means giving your child two options. It is a very useful strategy for children with Developmental Language Disorders because it provides an immediate contrast between what they have just said and the correct way of saying it. By giving two choices, children need to reflect on their language to choose the correct way, then practise saying the correct option when responding to the adult.
Child – “Her is driving.”
Mum – “Her is driving or she is driving.”
How to provide your child with a choice:
Give your child two options: Repeat what your child said and the correct way of saying it
Stress the correct option
Examples: “Is it her or she?”, “The dog running or the dog IS running?”
Say the correct option as the second choice until you know your child can accurately choose it
When to provide a choice:
When you notice an error or when your child is reluctant to talk
What to provide a choice for:
Vocabulary (word) errors, for example:
Child says: “Lion”
Parent asks: “Is it lion or tiger?”
Grammatical errors, for example:
Child says: “Her walked home.”
Parent asks: “Her walked or she walked?”
If your child chooses the incorrect option, model the correct option, for example:
After parent gave choices, child still says “Her walked home.”
Parent responds: “She walked home.”
Provide lots of modelling of the correct option:
Parent says: She carried a big bag. She walked so quickly. She must be tired!”
Although the summer holiday arriving means that there is a break from school, your child is still learning! The holidays are a fantastic time for language learning because there are lots of everyday opportunities to talk about events that have happened and will happen, learn new vocabulary and build social skills by interacting with new people!
Discussing feelings – Talk about how you / your child are feeling and why you feel that way so your child learns about feelings and can label how they are feeling (e.g. “I can see you are feeling excited because it is almost time to unwrap the presents!”).
Recounting experiences – Experiences in the holidays are often fun and exciting! Talking with your child about the events and experiences that have happened will help their ability to recount past events and experiences to others. (E.g. “Why don’t you tell Grandma what we did on our holiday? Where did we go?”)
Predicting – Discuss what you think will happen on a holiday you are going on, or an event you are going to. This is also a great opportunity to model longer sentences for your child (e.g. “I think we might go swimming on our holiday because it is very hot and we are staying near the beach”)
Practising social skills – Your child may interact with lots of new and different people during the holidays, so it is a great time to talk about and practise social skills. (E.g. “remember when we meet someone, we say hello, look at their face, and smile.” OR “Remember when you play games with your cousins, you need to take turns.”)