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?

  • When you read a story, ask questions that are open-ended or require your child to explain the answer, express opinions, describe ideas or tell personal stories.
    • For example, if your child is getting ready to create a clay sculpture, you might ask, “What are you planning to sculpt? How did you come up with that idea?”
  • Name objects, explain their uses and give examples that your child can see in order to understand.
    • For example, when talking about the air conditioner you might say, “When I press this button on the thermostat, it changes the temperature of the air that comes through the vents. It makes the air warmer or cooler.”
  • Choose a few informational, or nonfiction, children’s books that may appeal to your child.
    • This is also a great way to explore new hobbies and interests. Be sure to point out new vocabulary words, their meanings, and how they relate to the subject of the book. Take time to look at and describe the illustrations. Encourage your child to become an “expert” on a special subject!
  • Create your own picture books.
    • Use a notebook or create a book by folding two sheets of copy paper in half and stapling at the crease. Pick a theme, such as “feelings,” and search old magazines, store circulars or catalogs for pictures of people, pets or characters that are showing a variety of feelings. Cut out the pictures and glue them onto different pages. One page could be titled, “Happy,” another could be “Excited,” another page could feature “Sad.” Think of stories that explain the pictures. For example, “The little girl in this picture is sad because she wanted to ride her brand new bike outside, but it is raining.” Discuss the characters, their situations and why they may feel the way they do.