The Buzz Early Language & Literacy Series | Sixth Edition
Children Need to Hear Diverse
Examples of Words & Language Structures

It’s February, the month of LOVE.
We know how much you love your children and we thank you for
learning how to support their early language and literacy skills!

This month brings us to Kathy Hirsh-Pasek’s Language Learning Principle #5: Children Need to Hear Diverse Examples of Words and Language Structures. This means they need to hear a large variety of vocabulary and different ways of putting words together. Studies have shown that the amount and diversity of talk in early childhood produces better language outcomes and increased vocabulary performance in Kindergarten and later in second grade.

We shared this video at the beginning of our series, but it is worth reminding you how this 5th Principle can be done within conversation, even with infants! Count how many complex vocabulary words the man uses in his 53 second exchange with this wide-eyed baby:
Perhaps you are not sure how to make your conversations show such diversity of words and language. Don’t worry! Since books are filled with rich vocabulary and language that is less typically found in every day talk, there is no better way to expose children to the diversity of language than by reading to them…OFTEN! If your baby is not yet crawling, enjoy some time reading “adult” books and articles to her. The big words and complex language will be “music to her ears!” This may even be successful with older children if you pick the right time of day. Otherwise, children’s books are always a great choice and still contain all the language vitamins they need, especially if you are adding your own questions and comments as you read.

The benefits of adult-directed and guided play, especially reading books, is an effective and fun way to introduce your child to new words and ways of putting them together. In the second minute of this next video, notice how the teacher introduces and defines new vocabulary while reading The Pigeon Finds a Hotdog.
To sum it up, here are some great tips from an elementary school teacher.
We look forward to bringing you the sixth and final Language Learning Principle in the March edition of The Buzz!

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