What Parents and Caregivers Can Do to Promote Language Play
- Understand the need to be an active conversational partner. Initiate conversational episodes with the infant frequently during the day. Use caregiving episodes to talk to the baby.
- Talk to the infant as if she understands. Use parentese strategies such as raising the pitch of your voice and speaking in an enthusiastic tone when engaging the infant in “conversations.”
- Be sure to respond to the infant’s efforts to communicate. React as if the infant did speak to you, and reward with a smile and other physical forms of encouragement.
- Continue to initiate conversations with toddlers. Listen to them carefully; give them time to express themselves.
- Do not be concerned with the inaccuracy of the toddler’s use of language. Expand, repeat, and respond positively to the toddler’s attempts to use language forms.
- Make your toddler feel that she is understood when she has difficulty pronouncing words. Support all efforts.
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