Babies, when immersed in a rich language environment with learn to communicate well, without specific help… for the most part. Some children are born with challenges that will have to be addressed as they are recognized. But typically, all a baby needs is for language to be an active part of their everyday experiences. We learn about and practice many of these activities in our Kindermusik programs for babies, as well as for toddlers and two year olds, in which parents participate actively with their child. But it is hard to remember everything when we get home, or to figure out how to remember to use it regularly in daily life.
There is amazing amounts of information written about this subject. For this article, I just wanted to offer an inspirational quote, and for us to work together to create a collective general guide with just a few words as a daily reminder.
“All activities – planned, spontaneous, formal, informal – are language activities.
Infants don’t need to be taught language.
They learn language naturally by hearing it used in context,
and they learn to talk by being talked to and listened to.
Children also learn language through being sung to,
especially when the songs have simple, repetitive lyrics, like many nursery rhymes and lullabies.”
Simple Steps by Karen Miller pg. 38
Sometimes a glance at a gentle reminder can make a difference in the way we communicate with our children. None of these concepts are original to me, but while the long version detailing each of these issues can be fascinating and stimulating, it can also sometimes be overwhelming, and not easy to keep all that information in the present mind. I’d like to create a poster for my Kindermusik families in Lakeland, Florida, and for any person interacting with children and trying to juggle and remember a bajillion things. Although I like to believe I have compiled a good list, I believe that everyone benefits from a collaborative effort between educators and parents. Please share your feedback to help create the most useful language guide for parents.
All Activities are Language Activities
What a child is Learning Best Practices
Phonemes – bits of sound: Speak each sound clearly
Language flows: Speak naturally and beautifully
Speaking is fun: Enjoy speaking expressively
Language has dynamics: Explore LOUD and QUIET speaking
Language has texture: Explore SHARP and SMOOTH speaking
Language has pitch variety: Explore HIGH and LOW speaking
Speaking is expressive: Speak with sincere emotions
Speaking is social: Speak with a variety of people
People take turns speaking: Wait for others, and baby, to speak
Words connect to others: Use names when talking with people
Words connect to objects: Name objects being used
Words connect to concepts: Describe what their attention is focused on
Language has meter: Recite nursery RHYMES
Language is lyrical: SING – songs, or … anything
Soooo…. Is this helpful information? Is it missing something? Does it have too much? Are there duplicates? Do certain statements need to be rephrased for better / quicker refresher.
The format is variable: Is it in a usable format? Should the columns be even? What will make it easy to read and inspire at a glance? Do more words need to be capitalized or bold?
I was thinking about a frame with the alphabet around it, or maybe a lot of lips – just lips – in different talking shapes.
Shall I offer links to read the research that supports the intentions and actions presented in this guide?
This guide is being designed to give parents an easy guide to keep it fresh – daily, so please, help me make this work. Once we work it out, I can put it into a decorative pdf poster format so it will be easier to print.