Monday, January 5, 2015

Language Development in Young Children and The Little Couple TV Show

I'm watching one of my favorite shows on TLC, the Little Couple.  I've watched every episode and I just love Bill and Jen and it's been wonderful watching their family grow and their adopted children blossom.

While watching tonight I realized that their show is a perfect example of how parents can optimize vocabulary development in their children.  Bill and Jen engage their children in conversation and explain things to them.  When the toddlers say things that aren't grammatically correct, Bill and Jen will say it correctly for them thus providing a language model. It's the perfect example of how to talk with children to encourage language development.

When my sons were toddlers and would say that is big, I would reply yes, it's really big, it's large and huge. teach them synonyms for big. While grocery shopping I would point things out and tell them the names of everything.  For example, I would tell them the names and colors of the vegetables.

One of the most important books I read as an educator and as a parent is Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experience of Young Children by Risley and Hart.  This book chronicles their research in vocabulary and language development in young children and the disparity of the rate of growth of children from low income families compared to children from professional families.

Their research provides proof of how important a quality preschool experience can be to children, especially those from low income homes with parents who aren't well educated.  Those early years are crucial to  success in school.

Watch a few episodes of the Little Couple and listen and learn.
Thanks for reading!


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