About the speaker: Dr Valerie Muter is a consultant clinical psychologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital where she specialises in working with children with both developmental and neurologically based learning disorders. Visit Val's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
Further information about this Talk
Visit Val's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
To get hold of Valerie Muter's and Helen Likierman's latest book on how parents can prepare their child for school please click here.
Key Points Covered in This Talk:
- The importance of preparing language skills: Language is critical in the classroom as teachers teach by talking to children. It is therefore very important that your child is able to understand what the teacher says to him or her. It is equally important for your child to be able to communicate their needs and the knowledge they have developed during the classroom day.
- Four practical tips to develop language:
- Building up your child's vocabulary: Read to your child on a daily basis, for instance at bed time. Also talk through day-to-day activities such as what your child has been doing at play school/nursery or what sort of activities they have enjoyed with their friends.
- Teach your child to act on instructions: This is about building up your child's comprehension and their verbal memory. This can be done by using play games such as asking your child to follow a set of instructions (e.g. touch your nose, clap your hands and twirl round).
- Expanding what your child says and being a model for good grammar: If your concerned that your child is speaking in short phrases a lot can be done to help him or her speak in fuller sentences. If you're child says a very short phrase or sentence you can expand on it by giving them a longer, fuller version of it. This also gives the opportunity to correct grammar.
- Teaching your child social language (e.g. please, thankyou): This helps to develop conversational skills and social communication and is important for both behaviour and also building up friendships.