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Watch and Learn
Treat children like they can talk before they start to speak. Speak frequently with other adults for your child to observe. Early on children learn about taking turns, using facial expressions, and looking attentively during conversations.
Patience and Practice
Learning to talk requires time and practice. Instead of constantly correcting your child's speech, let her learn language mechanics and proper speaking within her own time.
Don't Fret the R's and W's
Remember, most children outgrow speaking difficulties, such as pronouncing R's and W's. If your child does not seem to understand what she hears or if you cannot understand what she says, you may want to seek advice from a speech therapist.
Speaking for the Situation
Children learn how to speak differently depending on where they are and what they are doing. Speaking conversationally at home and more formally at school is a skill they will learn.
The Language of Respect
Respect each child's language and dialect, and teach your child to do the same. Validate the child's language by showing that you accept how she speaks. Recognizing her language also affirms her identity, values, and experiences with her family and community.
Chatter Between Children
Encourage your child to play and speak with peers. Talking with other children, especially children of mixed-ages, promotes language development. Dramatic play, block-building, and book sharing are a few activities that promote collaboration and discussion.
Grown-Ups, the Chiefs of Conversation
Parents, teachers, and guardians are the chief conversationalists, questioners, listeners, responders, and promoters of language growth. Encourage children to continue building oral language skills through discussion and asking questions.