Speech and Language Strategies for the Classroom

Here are some easy ways to help develop your child’s language skills in the classroom:

  • Slow down when presenting new information or instructions
  • Ask “WH” questions, like who, what, where, and why so to encourage kids to use more complex sentences.
  •  Support conversation by enthusiastic & active listening
  •  Provide examples when introducing new concepts or vocabulary
  •  Employ context clues – using surrounding words and information to derive meaning when a word is new or unknown
  •  Reduce distractions
  •  Use pictures and hand-held toys to support learning of new words or concepts
  •  Encourage kids to take turns during conversations and respond appropriately when others speak
  •  Provide real-life  experiences to practice language skills (ex. Have child order their own meal in a restaurant)
  •  Establish a routine and repeat it, so kids know what to expect and how to respond
  •  Give advance notice for changes in activity or schedule, so that kids are prepared and fear/frustration is reduced.
  •  Start off with more basic sentences when kids are first learning to put words together
  •  Model- tell them exactly what you want them to say or the expected result.  For ex. “Please can I be excused.”
  •  Use a more “excited” or emotion-packed voice to when there is feeling attached to specific words.   
  •  Match your verbal interactions with your child with what they are able to comprehend.
  • Check for understanding by asking the child explain or give a response.