Oral Language includes the ability to understand spoken language and speak clearly to communicate with others. Developing oral language increases vocabulary and speaking skills, contributes to enjoyment and comprehension of reading, and builds listening and attention skills for school.
How can I help?
- Use positional words to build vocabulary and comprehension skills.
- For example, play “I Spy” using positional words, such as “I spy something yellow beside the refrigerator,” “I spy something in front of the couch and under the table.”
- Ask questions that relate to your child’s life.
- For example, read books that show a character participating in the same daily routines as your child such as bathtime and bedtime. Ask questions and discuss the similarities and differences between the character’s experiences and your child’s experience.
- After reading a favorite book, ask your child to retell the story or even dramatize it with props.
- For example, after reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears, give your child three bowls (small, medium and large) and three pillows to represent the chairs (small, medium and large). Ask your child to use the props to retell the story.
- When you read a story, ask questions that are open-ended or in other words require your child to explain the answer, express opinions, describe ideas or tell personal stories.
- Ask your child to describe what is happening in a story, why something happened and what might happen next. For example, after reading a story you might say “Tell me about this page. What do you think the little boy might be saying?”