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Early Language Development

Stimulating Language Development in Very Young Children

Self Talk: Talk to yourself throughout the day to model phrases or sentences that are 1-2 words greater than the words of the child. Also, this is a great way to bombard the child with language and vocabulary. For example, if the child is speaking in 2 word utterances, a mother can talk to herself in 3 word utterances to model and provide opportunities to the child to possibly repeat. "Let's make cookies!" "I love cookies!" "Chocolate chips in." "Stir it up." "It's almost ready."
Expansion: When a child says a phrase, expand on it afterward. The child does not have to repeat the expanded phrase, but it gives the child feedback on longer utterances. For example, Child says, "Juice, please." Dad says, "Want juice, please." Child says, "Go outside?" Mom says, "Let's go outside!"
Sabotage: Instead of automatically providing the child with everything he/she needs, "forget" things some of the time. For example, when the child wants a juice box, give him the juice box, but "forget" to open it. This creates an opportunity for the child to communicate what he needs. You could have him/her repeat after you.