• Tala Hershey

Tala's Tip: Simplify Your Language!

Imagine you’re learning a new language, say French. You’re learning some new phrases, and more vocabulary, and before you know it you’re prematurely thrown into a conversation with a native French speaker. If this native French speaker used very short phrases and a slower rate, you just may be able to pick up on everything they’re saying. But, if they’re speaking at a regular, or even fast rate in full sentences, that makes it much harder to understand.

That’s a bit what it’s like for babies learning English. You’re a native speaker, they’re just learning. For some children this may come easy, and for others it may be more difficult. They’re learning a new language. Babies need you to meet them at their level: single words, short phrases and a slower rate. Give them the chance to internalize and manipulate everything you’re saying and teaching them. If your child has his/her hands up in front of you grunting – you know they want to be picked up. Now, if you say to them “do you want me to pick you up now?” vs. “up?” – which do you think they’ll be able to comprehend and ultimately verbalize?

I know, it’s not a natural way of speaking. In fact, you may find you sound like Dora the Explorer or some cartoon character on TV. That’s okay! To your children, you’re meeting them at their level. Slowly but surely, you can add words and create more elaborate, full sentences. But let’s start at their level first.


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