Oral Language Tips for Parents

These are the TOP Ten Tips for Parents/ Guardians for Developing Oral Language with your child as supplied by the Professional Development Service for  Teachers (PDST)

Infants - 1st Class 
  • Listen to what your child is saying/trying to say and respond to contributions 
  • Make and maintain eye contact while talking with your child
  • Explain the meaning of words
  • Talk through activities
  • Talk through everyday experiences
  • Involve your child in discussions/plans
  • Ask/ Answer questions
  • Teach your child nursery rhymes/songs/poems/raps
  • Develop your child's receptive language by asking him/her to follow simple instructions 
  • Assist your child to express ideas in an orderly fluent way
  • Read to your child each night
2nd - 4th Class
  • Set aside 10 - 15 minutes to discuss the day's happenings
  • Encourage your child to express and justify opinions
  • Involve your child in adult conversation when appropriate
  • Talk about the child's favourite T.V programme
  • Play language games which focus on words i.e. Scrabble, Crosswords
  • Encourage your child to talk about experiences with a wide range of people: peers, relations,other adults
  • Listen carefully and clarify meaning: "Do you mean/or is this what you mean?"
  • Encourage your child to give reasons for decisions
  • Encourage your child to listen courteously to the opinions of others
  • Talk about school topics and assignments
5th and 6th Class
  • Encourage your child to develop a positive attitude to speaking/listening
  • Discuss your child's school work successes/concerns/interests
  • Respect your child's opinions and feelings
  • Involve your child in adult conversation, when appropriate
  • Help your child to extend his range of words in specialised subjects
  • Encourage your child to listen and respond courteously to others
  • Watch and discuss T.V. news/current affairs programmes together
  • Assist your child to locate information in local library, internet
  • Talk about school topics and assignments
  • Play commercial games that focus on word building
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