A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun (e.g. he, she, his, her, myself etc.). Children with Developmental Language Disorder often have difficulty with pronouns. Pronoun errors can include;
“Me want to go” instead of “I want to go”
“He is playing” instead of “she is playing”
“Him hurt himself” instead of “he hurt himself”
Here are some strategies you can use to help your child use the correct pronouns;
Provide a good model for your child by using pronouns in conversation and games
Use pronouns when describing pictures in story books (g. “look, she is jumping! She is jumping really high”)
If your child makes a pronoun error, repeat back what they said with the correct pronoun (g. Child – “he is playing”, Adult – “she is playing. She is playing soccer. I think she likes playing soccer.). Emphasise the pronoun and model its use as many times as possible.
A narrative, or story, tells us about an event or series of events and can be real or made-up. Learning to tell stories is important for the development of social skills (many social interactions we have are based on telling stories about our own experiences) and educational skills (it helps children to understand what they have read in books and to write good stories).
Talk to your childduring every day routines – Talk about what your child is doing as they complete each step, and then ask your child to tell you what they did. These routines can include brushing teeth, getting dressed or making breakfast. (e.g. “First, you put on your pants. Next, you put on your shirt. After that you put on your socks, and last you put on your shoes.”)
Baking – Discuss “What are all the things we need?” (including utensils, ingredients etc.). Talk about the steps involved as you do them. (e.g. making cookies. “We need a mixing bowl … etc. First, we are going to measure the butter and the sugar…”).
Ask your child to tell you what they did at school – ask questions such as “what did you play with?” or “what did you do at lunch time” for more information.
Puppets – Have your puppet tell a story or series of events to your child’s puppet. You could also encourage your child to use different voices (e.g. loud, soft, angry).
While grocery shopping with children can sometimes be stressful, there are ways of turning this regular outing into an opportunity for interaction, conversation, and fun! There is a lot to see and do at the grocery store that can support your child’s language development!
Before you go shopping
Prepare your child –by telling them where you are going and involve them in making a shopping list. (e.g. talk to your child about the things you need, or ask them to draw pictures of items to buy).
While you shop
Refer to the shopping list (e.g. let your child help you locate some items on the list or tell you what you need next),
Add language (e.g. talk about the things you are seeing (trolleys, workers, checkouts), experiencing (feeling cold in fridge and freezer aisles) and buying, including labelling the items, describing them, where you store them, what they are used for etc.)
Point out print (g. you can point out the numbers and wording on the aisle signage by pointing up and asking “Let’s look for aisle 6.”)
When you get home
Let your child help you put away the groceries, talk about what each item is and where they go (e.g. emphasize location words such as in the cupboard, on the shelf, in the freezer, up high, down low, beside the cereal, under the sink, etc.).
Set up a pretend grocery store – Children often pretend about things they have experienced first-hand. Keep empty boxes and package so you can set up a pretend grocery store at home.
Book sharing is different to simply ‘reading’ books. Book sharing is more than just reading the words in the book – it is an interaction between you and your child. When you book share with your child, you build language and support your child’s understanding (of new words, stories and language) and their talking (using new words, sentences, and telling stories).
Some strategies for book sharing:
Make comments: This means saying something about the book. 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…”)
Ask questions: You can ask questions about something your child has heard or can see (e.g. “Who can you see in this picture?”), or questions that require your child to link information (e.g. “How do you think the bear feels now? Why do you think so?”)
Pause: Waiting for a few seconds gives your child time to process information and take a turn during book sharing. You can pause before or after turning a page, when something exciting is happening, or after asking a question. You can pause by waiting for a few seconds, look expectant, and watch your child to see what they are interested in.
Follow your child’s interest: Focus on what your child is interested. 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?”).
There are two new parent sessions on our West Coast LDC Youtube channel focused on reading and spelling. The two sessions (Part 1 and Part 2) each cover a different skill which are essential for reading and spelling development. The sessions are 20 – 30 minutes long and can be viewed by clicking on the links below.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please talk to your child’s teacher or class speech pathologist.