Tips to Help your Toddler Learn to Talk

To learn language, children need to watch and listen to good talkers. They learn sounds, words, and new ideas by engaging in quality interactions with adults and older speakers. They need to hear new words and sounds, and practice taking turns in conversations. Your child may add her own babbling sounds or make different facial expressions in response to what you say. The quality of this interaction is the key. Simply hearing language from the T.V. or iPad is never enough to develop the rich vocabulary and deep understanding of the world around them. They need the social interaction to learn social language. Hearing a character on T.V. or in an App using the word ‘bye’ will never teach the meaning of the word. Only through quality personal interaction and shared experience will your child develop a rich vocabulary and understanding of language.

Here are a few tips to encourage more language from your Toddler:

• Talk to him about anything – people, things, activities, what he can see and hear, how she feels.

• Show him what you are talking about. Combine your language with experience.

• Use short, simple, clear sentences.

• Include her in your conversations, listen to his babbling and when he pauses in anticipation respond with an answer.

• Repeat words and sentences. A lot!

• Allow him time to talk.

• Copy her sounds, as if having a conversation.

• Be animated and vary your voice and facial expressions.

• Take turns. Play games that encourage her to say something. Pause before the end of a song and see if she can say the next word e.g Ring-a ring-a-rosie – “We all fall….” (down).

• Let him see your face when you are talking.

• Let her imitate communication. Repeating words and sentences is a great way to practice getting them right.

• Read books and magazines.

• Have fun playing physical games together – tickling, peek-a-boo, where’s the…

If your child is taking a little longer to start talking, call Newcastle Speech Pathology to find out how we can support you and your child as she starts to talk. You can also visit a previous Blog on Late Talkers and feel free to Contact Us

Written by Alison
Speech Pathologist
Newcastle Speech Pathology