Asking and answering questions helps us to think and learn about the world around us, to find out information, and to clarify what we know. The ability to answer questions will help your child to participate in more meaningful conversations with their peers, to process information in their environment and to be a contributing member in the classroom. Here are some general strategies to support your child in answering questions:
Focus attention and repeat the question – make sure you have your child’s attention before asking the question again.
Give time – give your child plenty of time to process and respond with an answer.
Simplify – try to rephrase the question and use language that your child is familiar with (e.g. What do we use for cutting up food? What does mummy cut food with?)
Offer choices – give your child two answers (e.g. do we use a spoon or a knife?)
Relate – try to relate the question to a situation that your child has experienced (e.g. remember when we cut up the orange? What did we use?)
It is important to encourage your child’s vocabulary development. The adults in a child’s life play an important role in helping a child learn new words. Here are some tips to keep in mind when using new vocabulary with your child.
Follow your child’s lead – emphasise words that come up in everyday conversations and interactions with your child.
Use the word several times – children need to hear a word several times before they start to use it.
Don’t bombard your child with words – aim for a balanced conversation between you and your child. It is important to wait after you say something to give your child a chance to respond.
Explain new words – this will help your child understand what new words mean (e.g. “Bear felt frightened, that means he was really scared”).
Use actions – accompany your words with actions, gestures, or facial expressions, to help your child understand the meaning of words (e.g. if the new word is yawn, show your child what yawning looks like).
The bottom line… it’s not just how much you say, but also what you say and how you say it that makes a difference for your child’s vocabulary growth.
DLD involves difficulty with talking and understanding. The students at West Coast LDC have DLD. It affects about 7% of children (that is 1 in every 14 children, meaning approximately 2 children in a mainstream classroom will have DLD). Despite it being so common, it is a hidden disability.
Our staff and students will be wearing purple and yellow on Friday to raise awareness of DLD. Optus Stadium will be lit up in purple and yellow on Saturday.
The West Coast Language Development Centre Dojo page will have updates throughout the week leading up to DLD Awareness Day.
Students from WCLDC East Hamersley Pre Primary class have articulated beautifully in a class display – How they feel about having DLD!
Building Critical Thinking Skills for Literacy Success
When sharing books with your child it’s important to help them understand the story. If young children understand the stories they hear, it’ll be easier for them to read and write their own stories later on. Your child needs to use critical thinking skills to understand stories. These skills include;
Explaining why – encourage your child to come up with explanations (e.g. ask questions that could have different explanations, such as “why does the bear have fur?” or “why did Susie go to the shops?”)
Having opinions – encourage your child to offer opinions about what they like about different objects, events and experiences (e.g. “I like going to the park because I get to play on the playground”)
Understanding other people’s perspectives – encourage your child to consider situations from different points of view (e.g. ask; “how do you think he feels?”, “what do you think she’s thinking right now?” or “why do you think he wants to do that?”)
Predicting – encourage your child to think about what might happen next (e.g. ask “what do you think will happen next?” ask your child to explain why they think that.)
Thinkingabout solutions – encourage your child to solve problems. Help to describe the problem and think of different solutions and decide on the best option. (E.g. “Uh-oh, your lunch bag is missing. What else can we use to carry your lunch?”)
(Adapted from: More than ABCs: Building the critical thinking skills your child needs for literacy success. Hanen.org 2016)
Children have the same emotions and feelings that we do, such as happiness, anger, frustration, embarrassment and sadness. However, they often don’t have the language to be able to talk about these feelings and understand them. This can sometimes result in children acting out as a response to these feelings, or a way to express them. By talking to your child about what they are feeling, linking the feeling to the cause, and practicing appropriate responses, children can begin to understand emotions.
Name the emotion for the child (E.g. “Daddy has gone away on a trip. You are sad because you can’t see him now”)
Help the child to identify feelings in other people, including yourself (E.g. “I am happy that you cleaned up all your toys! I have a big smile on my face!”)
Teach and model for your child theappropriate ways to respond to feelings (i.e. encourage them to talk about why they are upset, instead of throwing a temper tantrum).
Read books and pay attention to the feelings that the characters’ experience (E.g. “Look at Goldilocks’s face- she feels scared because she saw the three bears!”)
Give your childpositive praise when they react appropriately to their emotions, and when they try to talk to you about it. (E.g. “Well done for not shouting when you were excited! I liked the way you used a calm voice!)”